Reviews on this page are Copyright ©2017-2023 by Mike Quigley.
No reproduction of any kind without permission.
Episodes without music credits use stock music.
Special Guest Stars are indicated with an asterisk (*).
Clicking on the red link which is at the end of the MORE TRIVIA section
will reveal additional information about and yet more trivia for the episode.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers and the plots are given away!
★★★★ = One of the very best episodes, a must-see.
★★★ = Better than average, worthy of attention.
★★ = Average, perhaps with a few moments of interest.
★ = Below average, an episode to avoid.
S04E01: Poisoned Snow ★★★★
Original air date: September 11, 1975
Director: William Hale; Writer: Paul Savage; Music: John Elizalde
Guest Stars: Clu Gulager, Alan Fudge, Mark Hamill
Clu Gulager is Inspector George Turner, a narcotics cop, whose girlfriend Maggie Collins (also a cop, played by Janis Hansen) is shot dead when she attempts to make an arrest during a drug transaction. The hotheaded Turner, who describes the people he deals with as "slime" and "human garbage," accuses his partner Phil (Alan Fudge), who was with Maggie at the time of her death, of bungling the operation. Stone says that they shouldn't give women this kind of work, it is too dangerous. Turner was going to marry Maggie soon after a divorce from his wife was finalized. He seeks vengeance, attempting to track down her killer, a guy named Cajun (Tony Geary, later of General Hospital). Turner gets a tip regarding Woody Parks (George Sawaya), distributor of the heroin. He and Phil attempt to bust Parks, but Turner pretends he didn't find any dope in Parks' car and they let him go. In reality, Turner does find the hidden heroin and laces it with rat poison. This has the desired effect of killing Cajun, but it also kills around 30 other junkies with the cops totally run off their feet dealing with this sudden epidemic of death. Turner's action also has extreme consequences, because his own son Andy (a pre-Star Wars Mark Hamill) is an addict who dies after purchasing some of the contaminated heroin. Turner is devastated by the loss of his son.
Phil, Stone and Keller encounter Turner in the basement of the station as he is being taken away in a paddy wagon. Turner, who is unrepentant, says "Nothing's gonna change," and there's "a different kind of poison" on the street now. When Turner asks his former partner "How's it going?" Phil responds, "I'm still trying", and shuts the paddy wagon door. Phil tells Stone and Keller, "He's wrong, you know. Things are changing all the time. Sometimes just not for the better, that's all."
This is a very good episode, with Stone being intense, interesting photography including sequences with the camera in the back of Stone and Keller's car (no process shots) and extreme closeups when Stone is grilling Turner after the latter's scheme is revealed, some pretty crazy driving by Keller, interesting music (albeit stock tracks) and a great cast including several character actors.
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
- I could see the plot angle culminating in Andy's death coming a mile away, given that the kid was sniffing from a "cold" during a meeting early in the show with his father.
- When Turner mixes the poison in with the dope, his fingerprints are going to be all over the bag, though it is obvious by this point he doesn't care about this.
- There is a reference to Captain Devitt, the Tim O'Connor character (though he is not seen).
- A "real" phone number -- 386-8271 -- is mentioned.
S04E02: The Glass Dart Board ★★★½
Original air date: September 18, 1975
Director: Harry Falk; Writer: Sean Baine; Music: Pat Williams
Guest Stars: Patrick O'Neal, Lou Frizzell, Joel Fabiani
Martin Truax (Lou Frizzell) is taking shots at the $80 million, 35-storey Balboa Towers using a high-powered German "Handel" rifle. As we find out later, he is aggrieved because his property was expropriated to get land for the building, and he feels he was not compensated enough. Truax wants $1 million or he will keep up his attacks on the place, threatening to "destroy" it. When one of Truax's shots kills an accountant, the cops get even more interested than just investigating the shooting angle. Unfortunately, Stone has to contend with an old pal of his, Jacob Keely (Patrick O'Neal), who has been promoted to captain while Devitt is on sick leave. Keely is a "squint," according to Keller, meaning someone who never leaves the office and squints when he goes outside and sees the sun. Stone uses tried-and-true methods including triangulation from high up in the building to try and catch Truax, but finds himself constantly frustrated by Keely, who micro-manages things and interferes with Stone's work. Keely uses a management technique for complex programming he developed called P.E.R.T. (Program Evaluation and Review), which consists of a large flowchart taped to a blackboard with wheels where data relating to the case is entered. When Keely shows this method to the men, some of them roll their eyes. Stone and Keller have a good chance of capturing Truax one evening, but Keely takes command in the helicopter being used to follow the suspect and sends everyone in the wrong direction. This causes Stone to go totally ballistic, telling Keely that he is "what went wrong" with the operation, because he let the shooter escape. Shortly after this, using P.E.R.T., Keely has a suspect named Harlan Jeffers (Paul Pepper) picked up, and everything about him falls into place except the fact that he does not own the rifle being used. With the help of the Balboa Towers' building manager Eli Mason (Joel Fabiani), Stone and Keller add to the lists they already have of people connected to the skyscraper, including those who were responsible for the building's construction. Their last resort is the architectural firm which designed it, and there they find a "nut file" with letters from cranks including Truax, who was complaining bitterly about having to sell his property. Stone and Keller go to Truax's place, where the shooter is undone by his ancient car which won't start and his Airedale Terrier named Scruff. Truax ends up wounded by Keller and is taken into custody.
Devitt returns from the hospital and Keely is promoted to Research and Planning. Keely tells Stone that he is an example of The Peter Principle, having risen to the level of his own incompetence. Stone says the fact Keely is being promoted would counter this criticism, suggesting that Keely planned this move all along.
This episode is good, and when Stone blows up at Keely, it's surprising that even though the two are friends, Keely is technically Stone's superior, so I'm surprised, given his "I'm the boss" attitude (asking for Stone to address him as Captain in front of "the men," for example) that he doesn't take Stone off the case or discipline him in some way. I guess their friendship overrides this. With his use of computers, Keely was obviously ahead of his time, much to the annoyance of men in the department who found his methods to be counter-productive. But I don't know how advanced computers of the day were. For example, Keely tells Keller to check out employees who work in the Balboa Towers, which currently totals around 2,500 people, as well as people who previously were employed there. Then in the next scene we see Keller with Stone on the way to the building in their car and Keller is holding a large sheaf of computer printouts (not a "paperless" solution already). This is not from Mason, because Keller asks for that in a subsequent scene. So what are these papers? I don't think SOSF was like Hawaii Five-Zero where you can log into a Supercomputer and, starting with a facial recognition search, come up with obscure information in a few seconds like the results of a suspect's driving test 20 years ago or their high school records. Frizzell gives a very good performance as the edgy and irrational Truax.
- Truax's car is a 1953 Lincoln, license number AXO 995.
- Part of Jeffers' alibi is that during the shooting the night before, he was watching the "Blazers" play hockey. Was there such a team in San Francisco in the 70s? Keely discounts this, saying that the "Blazers didn't play last night. Refrigeration went bad. No ice, no hockey."
- Headlines are seen in the bogus San Francisco Dispatch paper: "Building Under Seige" and "Sniper Captured by P.E.R.T. Chart."
- The Balboa Towers is supposedly located at 8th and Saint Andrews.
- When Stone and Keller are driving after their first visit to Keely's office, you can see the shadows of the cameraman and the production crew on the street.
- At the end of the show, because his car doesn't start, Truax is going to take shots at the Towers from the roof of his apartment building, which seems very far away, unlike his previous attempts on the building.
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E03: No Place to Hide ★★★
Original air date: September 25, 1975
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writer: Robert Malcolm Young; Music: Richard Markowitz
Guest Stars: Stefanie Powers, Chris Robinson, Paul Carr, Michael Bell
When a young woman is shot dead in a laundromat, Stone and Keller find themselves involved with the world of gangs at the fictional and nasty Holton Prison, including those outside who have been paroled but have connections to two bosses in the jail, Carl Metzger (Todd Martin) of the White Brothers and Lafayette Delacroix (Ji-Tu Cumbuka), leader of the black Cadre. Jennifer O'Brien, the murdered woman, was refusing to co-operate in a plan devised by Metzger to smuggle drugs into the prison to her incarcerated husband Robert (Michael Bell) via kissing. Taking advantage of the fact that Robert now feels his life is over because of his wife's death, Delacroix slips him a shiv and tells him to knock off Metzger, but O'Brien himself is murdered. (Metzger and Delacroix are surprisingly chummy in a meeting in the prison shower room later which suggests that the murder of O'Brien was planned between the two of them.) The next prospect for Metzger's smuggling plan is Lou King (Paul Carr), who is in Holton for embezzlement. King's wife Rita (the hot Stefanie Powers) is visited by Holton parolee Jack Constantine (Chris Robinson) who convinces her to co-operate if she wants her husband to remain healthy. Keller enlists the help of Pepper Collins (Stan Haze), a black guy out on parole from Holton who he has had dealings with in the past, to get the scoop on members of the White Brothers who are possible suspects in Jennifer O'Brien's murder. Collins is only to glad to co-operate to "get back at the honkies." Rita, who was pals with Jennifer O'Brien, meets with Constantine at some out-of-the-way location which looks like a garbage dump to discuss the dope smuggling. Joe Max (Ben Frank), another ex-con from Holton who Constantine has "contracted" to knock off Collins also shows up and is shot dead by Constantine when he complains about his assignment. Rita flees the scene but some guy at the dump makes a note of her car license plate, which leads Stone and Keller to her. (Stone already talked to Rita, a friend of Jennifer, once before.) Rita refuses to talk unless Stone makes a deal to have her husband released, otherwise he is as good as dead. Stone makes the deal with a judge late in the evening and he and Keller go to see Rita to tell her, just as Constantine, who has broken into her place, is threatening her with a knife. Constantine is taken away and soon after this, Rita spills the beans.
Stone and Keller escort the Kings to a bus depot in downtown San Francisco near the Columbia Hotel which will take them to the airport and a new life under the Witness Protection Program. Keller gets to imitate Marlon Brando in The Godfather (not very well) when he says that Rita made "an offer that [Stone] couldn't refuse." As they are leaving the scene, Stone tells Keller that King's new name is "John Louis Smith," which Keller thinks is pretty lame.
The subject matter for this show is unsettling and helped by Robinson's slimy performance as Constantine, especially the scene where he demonstrates how he wants Rita to pass the drugs to her husband with a deep kiss, and Martin's menacing portrayal of Metzger. The attack by Constantine on Rita at the end is kind of over the top, though, verging on slasher film territory. There are a few odd things, though, like Joe Max showing up at the garbage dump to talk to Constantine which doesn't make any sense at all. Is this Constantine's default meeting place for people?
- It's an odd coincidence that Metzger, leader of The White Boys, has the same last name as Tom Metzger, described by Wikipedia as an "American white supremacist, skinhead leader and former Klansman [who] founded White Aryan Resistance [and] was a Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s."
- The prisoners at Holton are allowed to kiss their loved ones through a small window in the screen between them. I'm surprised that the guards can't figure out that something fishy is going between Rita and her husband.
- After Stone talks to the judge about getting Rita's husband released, he and Keller walk out of the building in a reverse tracking shot which goes on for more than a minute.
- As Constantine arrives at Rita's place and breaks in, piano music by Bach is heard playing on the stereo. The sound of Constantine breaking the window glass is almost inaudible. Rita leaves her key in the deadbolt on the inside of the door, which is not too smart.
- Keller shows mug shots to Stone of ex-Holton convicts who may have a connection to the White Brothers: Abe Sugar (number 2572), Dix Hennessey (566725), Ernie Porter (2527) and Joe Max (215727), all of whom are on probation. Metzger's prison number is D85112. The deputy warden Norderman at Holton is played by character actor Charles Napier
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E04: Men Will Die ★★★
Original air date: October 2, 1975
Director: William Hale; Writer: Shirl Hendryx
Guest Stars: Vera Miles, Darleen Carr, Deirdre Lenihan. Paula Kelly, Michael Parks*
While she is working alone late at her job, Stone's daughter Jeannie's roomate Nancy Price (Deirdre Lenihan) is raped by two men: Jack Marlin (Michael Parks) and his friend Caddison (uncredited actor). Although Nancy just wants to forget about what happened, Stone convinces her to attend a lineup at police headquarters, where Nancy identifies Marlin who was picked up after the assault and charged with suspicion of burglary. Accompanying Nancy to the police station, Jeannie makes the acquaintance of Catherine Wyatt (Vera Miles), a lawyer who defends rape victims. Based on a tattoo which Marlin has on his arm, Stone figures there is some connection to a case in June of 1975 where another woman named Jensen was raped in Golden Gate Park. Jensen died of her injuries, but there was a witness to this attack named Mildred Parker (Anitra Ford), whose ID of the rapist was not conclusive. Stone and Keller talk to Parker, but she brushes them off. Nancy and Jeannie go to the Women's Assault Center where Wyatt acts as a legal adviser. Later, Nancy takes a gun from her office and when she arrives at home, she is attacked by Caddison, who was previously seen stalking her in the neighborhood. Caddison tells Nancy words "I have to teach you a lesson for the both of us," but is interrupted when Jeannie suddenly pulls up outside the place in her car. Caddison starts to run away, but Nancy pulls her gun and shoots him in the back, killing him. Wyatt is prepared to defend Nancy in court, though she knows what to expect, typical rape-related arguments of the day like "there is insufficient evidence," "the victim had prior knowledge of the rapist," as well as a verdict like a three-day suspended sentence as a result of plea bargaining. Very disturbed by the way Nancy is being treated, Jeannie engages in "street-sheeting" along with Carol (Paula Kelly), one of the women at the center. They leave leaflets at places like the restaurant where Marlin is having a bachelor party prior to his marriage to his fiancée Angie (Jenifer Shaw) telling everyone that Marlin is a rapist. They also contact Angie, letting her know what kind of a guy her boyfriend really is. Marlin spies Jeannie in the neighborhood putting up posters near the restaurant and chases her. Jeannie escapes, but Marlin grabs her address information from inside her car. He tracks her down and threatens Jennie for harassing him just as Stone shows up and tells Marlin to get lost. Stone is just as angry at Jeannie as he is at Marlin for making his case much more difficult. In court, Wyatt makes an impassioned plea that Nancy is the victim, but the judge disagrees and says she will be tried on a charge of first degree murder. Taken away, Nancy jumps from a balcony in the court building, trying to commit suicide, ending up in hospital with a multiple concussion. Stone convinces Jeannie to go and talk to Parker, who finally admits that Marlin was the rapist in the earlier case, saying he is "scum." Wyatt, upset at the direction the case against Nancy is taking, calls Marlin at home and tells him that she will destroy the evidence against him in the Golden Gate Park rape if he agrees to her terms. Marlin shows up at Wyatt's office, where she tells him to sign a paper that he and Caddison raped Nancy. Her plan is to get Marlin to touch things all over the office, making it look like he showed up with the intention of raping and/or killing her. Wyatt pulls a gun out and is just about to knock off Marlin when Stone and Keller arrive, having been tipped off by Angie, Marlin's girl friend. Marlin seems relieved to see them, but Stone says "We've got you for murder."
Stone, Keller, Wyatt and Jeannie are all in Nancy's hospital room. Jeannie tells Nancy that the judge will dismiss the complaint against her. Jeannie stays with her friend, the others leave. Wyatt says "I'm afraid it won't be over for Nancy for quite a long while." Stone offers Wyatt a ride, but she says "I have another Nancy Price to meet." As she leaves, Keller says "There's a lady, huh?" Stone says "Yeah, and I'm afraid she's right, too. If the courts don't do anything about those guys that rape, the victims will." Keller replies, "Well, times are changing. So are the women, Mike." Stone says, "I'll tell you one thing that's changed. My Jeannie. She's not a girl any more, she's a woman." Keller tells him, "Yeah, she's not gonna let you forget about it." As Keller walks away, Stone says, "What a way to grow up."
This episode is pretty good, but there is one huge flaw. When Stone and Keller go to talk to Parker who witnessed the Golden Gate Park rape, she is shown one picture, that of Marlin. Later, when Jeannie goes to the restaurant where Parker works to talk to her because she was not co-operative earlier, the same procedure is repeated, that she shows Parker one picture of Marlin, which she finally identifies. You can't have someone make an identification like this with only one picture. You must show them a picture "lineup," and they have to pick the bad guy out of several. So, what will happen is that the case against Marlin, if it is based on Parker identifying one picture, will be thrown out of court, just like many other cases involving rapists where there is insufficient evidence or other "technicalities" which cause the criminal to get off, as mentioned during the show! Vera Miles is very good as the cynical Wyatt.
- Statistics from the center: There were almost 600 rapes in San Francisco and 10,000 in the state in the previous year. It is estimated that there are 5 times that amount that are not reported.
- The place where Nancy works is right next door to Bill Graham's at 1333 Columbus Street, where one would buy tickets for the concerts at Graham's auditorium. The rape at the beginning of the show is depicted a photographically ambiguous manner.
- At the end of the show, the scene where Marlin is in Wyatt's office and is standing behind her touching the back of her neck is very creepy. The issue of whether Wyatt herself was raped is alluded to when Keller is at the center and says "I realize you're a female attorney, but does that give you some kind of copyright on the psychology of rape?" She tells him, "I had to learn the hard way, just like everyone else in this office."
- When Wyatt is threatening Marlin with a gun in her office, the camera has a point of view from Wyatt's perspective with the gun in the foreground out of focus.
- It is mentioned that a medical exam that Nancy had was inconclusive because there was "no trace of semen." But Nancy was never taken for an exam after the rape at the beginning of the show and there is a suggestion that she took a shower soon after the rape and before she ended up at the Stones' place, thus destroying this evidence.
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E05: School of Fear ★½
Original air date: October 9, 1975
Director: William Hale; Writers: Brad Radnitz, Gordon Basichis & Marcia Basichis; Music: John Parker
Guest Stars: Maurice Evans, John Lehne, Geoffrey Lewis
When Walter Randolph, a teacher at Manual High School, attempts to break up a fight between two students, he is shot dead. One of the students, Jim Riley (Don Stark), is busted, but the other, Richie Martino (Bob Hegyes), flees the scene. A few days later, Martino still has not shown up, and some other students have also gone missing. Leopold Summer (Maurice Evans), an older teacher who was fired from the school because of his disciplinary methods, has kidnapped Martino and three of his other former students and chained them to desks in a classroom at the abandoned Thomas Paine Academy where Summer himself went to school many years before. In addition to the Chicano-looking Martino, the others are the black Billy Jeffers (Erik Kilpatrick), Randy Pruitt (Mark Lambert) from the poor side of town and the mouthy Judy Harris (Barbara Stanger). Judy was reportedly the one who "ratted out" Summer after he struck a student (Jeffers) which resulted in him getting canned, but Summer says that he won't hold this against her. Summer wants to improve his captives' education on topics like world history, literature and so forth. Keller manages to track Summer down to his old neighborhood and goes to the abandoned academy where he finds the room where the kids are being held, but gets knocked out by Summer and also chained to a desk. When Keller starts to question Summer' methods, the teacher tells him to shut up. Prior to Keller's arrival, Judy got Martino to throw her purse out of the building with a message for help. It was found by some neighborhood bum, who called her father (Geoffrey Lewis) with hopes of getting a reward. The father arrives at the school with a gun and starts fighting with Summer after Judy suggests that the teacher molested her. Stone then shows up and punches Harris out in a particularly violent manner. Summer escapes to the upper floors of the building and Stone pursues him, as hallucinatory audio flashbacks are heard on the soundtrack. Summer falls through a part of the floor which is rotten and is killed when he hits the ground below.
Stone and Keller find themselves back at Manual High. Billy, who was the only student of the kidnapped four to show interest in what Summer was trying to do, has re-entered the curriculum for his final semester. Billy says, "If old Summer thought I was worth dying for ... well, I can try." The school's principal (John Lehne), says "Some good has come out of all this." Pruitt is back and Martino might return, though Judy Harris has dropped out. As they leave the building, Stone talks about how much Summer cared for his students despite his other faults and Keller says while he was chained up, Summer had the kids listening.
This show sort of has an interesting premise, which these days might form the basis for a dystopian movie like Battle Royale. But I thought it was ridiculously unrealistic. One of the major problems is the students, who are supposedly around 17-18 years old. They are typical "high school students" portrayed by actors who are much older, and it shows. As of the date of the episode's broadcast, Hegyes was 21, Lambert was 23 and Stanger was 26! (I can't find a date for Kilpatrick; Stark was 24.) There is no indication how old Summer is supposed to be, but Evans was 74. Considering he sometimes walks with a cane, he seems very agile in kicking Pruitt down the stairs of the building where he lives and forcing the students to do his bidding, albeit at knife or gun point. But think -- how many times have you seen a film or TV show where someone has a gun pointed right in their face and manages to disarm the person holding the gun? You would expect the street-smart Martino to be able to do this, especially while Summer is standing right beside him in the classroom where Martino is chained up. Just because Summer is a "person of authority" doesn't mean the students have to be terrified of him! Another issue has to do with "people going to the bathroom." Summer tells them that they are "rested, fed and allowed personal hygiene." During all of these, the kids might have an opportunity to escape, though when he lets Jeffers go to the toilet, Summer makes sure that the door is locked while Jeffers is inside. Evans does give a good performance as the kindly "old-fashioned" teacher who is seriously deranged because of the death of his wife 10 years before as well as his dismissal from the school system, but it is all for nothing!
- Summer drives a vintage Mercury, model "61-03," which, according to Michael Timothy, is a 1954 Mercury Monterey 2-DR Hardtop. If you watch the one scene where the camera is inside the car, Maurice Evans drives as if he is someone who is not used to driving.
- When Summer looks like he is making a eulogy for Randolph in a funeral home, he is reciting a passage from Thomas Hobbes' Of Man, Being the First Part of Leviathan, specifically Chapter XIII, Of the Natural Condition of Mankind as Concerning Their Felicity and Misery.
- It seems very odd to me that when Harris comes to the police station after Summer calls him to say that Judy is being held captive but she will not be harmed, that the one major clue to Summer's identity that might help the cops -- that he has an English accent -- is not mentioned.
- One of the books which Summer is forcing the students to read looks like it is called "Adventures in Appreciation."
- Harris's father's phone number is 362-0024.
- As Stone and Keller approach their car which is parked on the school grounds at the end of the show, a couple of students are looking in the car like they want to steal it!
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E06: Deadly Silence ★★½
Original air date: October 16, 1975
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writer: John W. Bloch
Guest Stars: Meredith Baxter, Darleen Carr, Darrell Fetty
A trio from Tennessee -- Jodi Dixon (Meredith Baxter); Jeff, her husband of two days (Gerald McRaney); and Rudy Nolan (Darrell Fetty), her brother -- are robbing the Sonoma Liquor Company. Stone and Keller respond and in the ensuing confrontation, Stone gets run over by their escaping van. Stone shot Jeff as the three left the store; the owner of the place was also shot and later dies. Stone is taken to hospital but insists there is nothing wrong with him. Meanwhile, Jeff dies from his injuries and Jodi swears vengeance against Stone. She disguises herself as a nurse and goes to the hospital where she hopes to kill Stone, but her plans don't work out when Stone decides to go home, despite opposition from his doctor Reynolds (Regis J. Cordic), Keller and his daughter Jeannie (Darleen Carr). Stone begins experiencing problems with vertigo and his hearing, but goes back to work anyway. When the van used in the robbery driven by Rudy is spotted, a patrol car follows it along with Stone and Keller. Rudy abandons the car on the docks, but Stone, who is chasing him, is totally disoriented, and narrowly misses getting killed. To save his partner, Keller shoots Rudy dead. Realizing there is something seriously wrong, Stone consults with Dr. Graber (Gene Blakely), an ear specialist, who tells him that he has an ossicular discontinuity in his right ear -- a real problem, not one made up. Surgery can be performed to correct this, but if the operation is not successful, Stone will be deaf in that ear forever. This causes Stone to do some soul-searching as well as talk to his former partner Sgt. Dave Paxton (Robert Karnes), who lost hearing in one ear because of the sound of a close-up gunshot. Stone cannot sit still at home and when he goes out for a walk, Jodi, who is stalking him, lets off several shots in his direction. After the cops investigate, Stone goes to headquarters where Keller assigns a 24-hour guard to him over Stone's objections. Jodi goes to Stone's place and, pretending to be a witness to an accident involving him, takes Jeannie hostage. Jodi having abandoned the room she and the two men had rented, their landlady Mrs. Oliver (Nora Marlowe), recognizing a picture of their truck from the story in the paper about Rudy's death, contacts police. Keller visits the place and finds the blood-soaked mattress on which Jeff died. Jodi takes Jeannie to the Presidio area and forces her to call her father and tell him to come there, otherwise Jeannie will be killed. Stone, who has returned home, sneaks out the back of his house, but his guard, Drake, is able to figure out where he is going by analyzing the impressions on a notepad by the telephone. Stone arrives at the Presidio, and Jodi takes several shots at him. She runs out of bullets and breaks down, embracing him, just as Keller and other cops arrive and take her into custody.
Stone has the operation; it is successful -- the hearing in his right ear has been restored. Keller tells Stone, "I was getting kind of used to your office, you know." Stone acts if he didn't hear what Keller said.
This show's concept is good, but there are inconsistencies in Stone's hearing problem. For example, when they are chasing Rudy in their car, Keller is yelling directions at Stone full volume, which he cannot understand, but when Dr. Graber tells Stone in a relatively quiet voice what is wrong with him, Stone hears everything perfectly. I also don't understand where does Jodi get the nurse's uniform. She is shown driving up to the hospital in her car wearing the uniform; it's not like she snuck into the hospital and stole one there. Meredith Baxter's performance is OK, but she lacks the acting chops to pull off a portrayal of a woman who is totally deranged by her husband's death. (Baxter was 28 years old when the show was made; she looks much younger.)
- The trio's Tennessee license plate on their car is 5-H36D8.
- Keller's hair seems long compared to the previous episode.
- As the show opens, Stone is talking about a place which sells the "best salami in town." The day he gets run over is his birthday, actually.
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E07: Murder by Proxy ★★★
Original air date: October 23, 1975
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writer: Eugene Price
Guest Stars: Bradford Dillman, Sorrell Booke, Marj Dusay, Eduard Franz. John Ritter
Bad things are happening during the last few months in the Rafael Street neighborhood. Thugs smash the windows of a car with a pregnant woman inside, a 78-year-old woman has her jaw broken and a kid's dog is killed. There are muggings, arson and vandalism. This is all part of a campaign carried out by a large conglomerate called Communications Consolidated Inc. (CCI), specifically one of their employees, an ambitious developer named Tom Fitz (Bradford Dillman) who has hired the shady real estate broker Quincy Lloyd (Sorrell Brooke) to shake down local residents and get them to sell their properties so CCI can build the "West Coast Towers Project." One local business owner, printer Leo Steiner (Eduard Franz), goes to speak to Stone, an old friend of his. Although this isn't really Stone's department, he and Keller start investigating, especially after Steiner is murdered and his print shop vandalized by two thugs in Lloyd's employ. Stone yells at Captain Lacy (Gordon Jump), whose patrols are responsible for Rafael Street. Lacy says that the crime rate in that area has jumped 300%. Fitz is under a lot of pressure from his boss Harold Buxton (George P. Wallace) to get the house sales finalized, and Fitz's home life is suffering as a result. His wife Cheryl (Marj Dusay) is fed up because they have moved five times in the last seven years and they have no friends other than "business associates." When Lloyd comes to talk to her husband, Cheryl overhears their conversation, suspecting that her husband had something to do with Steiner's murder. She tells him that he is not the man she married: "You get more corporate and you get less human." Steiner's son Johnny (John Ritter) breaks into Lloyd's office and steals several documents relating to recent real estate transactions, which he takes to Stone. Stone promptly books Johnny for theft, but is quite interested in the paperwork. He and Keller go to visit Fitz, who tells them politely to get lost. Fitz then meets with Lloyd in a park, telling him his services are no longer required. Lloyd doesn't take this well, punching Fitz in the stomach and threatening to report Lloyd who told him that "Problems are to be solved, resistance to be overcome, obstacles to be eliminated." When he goes home, Fitz finds that his wife has left him, taking the children to stay with her parents. Stone and Keller go to see Lloyd to talk about information in the stolen documents. They have discovered Lloyd is a con man who was arrested for embezzlement, assault and fraud in the midwest years before. Just around this time, Lloyd's thugs race through the neighborhood firing a rifle and blowing up a truck from the local vegetable store. The residents take matters into their own hands, and track down these two hoods, whose car runs into another. They hold them as Stone and Keller pull up in their car. Both these goons want to speak to a lawyer, and Keller says that they will be back in an hour or so with a public defender and trusts the furious citizens will look after these two guys, who nervously start blabbing about who hired them. Armed with facts concerning Lloyd and Fitz, Stone and Keller pay a visit to the CCI offices, saying that Lloyd has confessed to "certain actions" he took on Fitz's behalf. As Lloyd predicted earlier, Fitz is culpable with words out of his own mouth even though Fitz says he was "only speaking metaphorically" and he "never meant for [Lloyd] to kill anyone." (This last statement alone is enough to get Fitz to hang himself, because no one was accusing Lloyd of killing anyone at that point.) Fitz is arrested for withholding evidence, obstructing justice and maybe even charged with being an accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. Fitz's boss Buxton refuses to let him use the company lawyers and expects his letter of resignation dated yesterday before he leaves the building.
Stone and Keller look at the Rafael Street neighborhood project for CCI's west coast headquarters, which is proceeding after all. Johnny tells them that he took $120,000 for his father's print shop, a large increase over the $40,000 which Lloyd offered him earlier. Johnny says that Buxton has been reassigned to Omaha and Stone says that this is because "a company as big as CCI is like a nation unto itself. They have their own morals, their own codes, their own values. And Mr. Buxton, well, he made a mistake in judgment."
This episode is good, though it's surprising how many people from the neighborhood suddenly come out of the woodwork when the two bad guys terrorize the area (and what a coincidence that Stone and Keller just happen to be nearby). Both Dillman and Brooke play their parts in a very oily manner. Dusay is also very good, though she has to make a big emotional statement concerning her marriage in a relatively short space of time.
- There is a tracking shot that goes on for a minute and 51 seconds as Fitz and Lloyd walk outside where a stiff wind is blowing.
- The CCI project at the end is announced by a large sign which features the name of its architect, D. Elliott, and a real-looking phone number: 421-4701.
- Fitz's department acquires space for CCI's employees,"Office space, warehouse space, computer room space ... up to the year 2005 [!]"
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E08: Trail of Terror ★★
Original air date: October 30, 1975
Director: Michael Preece; Writer: Jim Byrnes; Music: George Romanis
Guest Stars: Meg Foster, Greg Mullavey, James Woods, Philip Bruns
Some time ago when they were on shore leave, four US Navy sailors arranged with Marty Long (Tony Cacciotti), a dealer in "custom made Indian jewelry" to fence some jade pieces which they obtained in the Orient. These four are Pete (Philip Bruns), Doug (James Woods), Doug's brother Beau (Greg Mullavey) and J.W. Flowers (Charles Weldon). They have returned to San Francisco again via a liberty boat depositing them at the docks and want to collect their money. They go to Marty's shop, but he closed the place a few days ago, according to Swede (Morgan Jones), bartender at Paul's Saloon next door. Swede says that Marty is still living at the same address, so they go and seek him out there. Marty has the $100,000, but has no intention of giving it to them; in fact, he is preparing to skip town. When he finds out from Swede that the four are on their way to his place, Marty hides the 100 grand up inside the fireplace and when they arrive, pretends that he only got $10,000 for the jade. This does not sit well with the sailors, especially Doug, who clubs Marty on the head with a candlestick holder, killing him. Marty's girl friend Nancy Mellon (Meg Foster), who has been overhearing everything that is going on from the next room, runs out of the apartment and manages to elude the men, who chase her. From an old friend of Nancy's, Betty Jo Washington (Aldine King), the sailors find out that Nancy has gone back to her hometown of Oak Grove, located north of San Francisco. They pursue her there, managing to buy a couple of rifles along the way. Stone and Keller are alerted to Tony's death by Garvey, the building's landlord (Al Nabandian). In a box with Nancy's jewelry, Stone finds a newspaper obituary from the Oak Grove Tribune, July 14, 1970, for Nancy's mother, so they figure that is where she is headed. Nancy goes to her home and reconciles with her father Haggard (Ford Rainey); she has been estranged with him for some time. It doesn't take long for the local Sheriff Kenney (Kenneth Tobey) to show up and take Nancy into custody after San Francisco issues an all-points bulletin for her. Keller soon arrives in Oak Grove to take Nancy back to the city. Stone goes to Marty's place one more time and has a brainstorm that the money is hidden in the fireplace, and he is correct. Keller starts to drive Nancy back to town, but his car is forced off the road by the now-armed sailors, who are no longer wearing their uniforms. Keller and Nancy flee into the nearby forest, and when Nancy starts to get too argumentative, Keller handcuffs himself to her. Kenney and his men find the two cars beside the road and launch a search. Alerted by the sheriff, Stone flies to Oak Grove by helicopter. Keller is wounded by Pete, but kills Pete in turn; J.W. decides he wants no more of this scheme, and heads back to the highway. Nancy shoots the handcuffs, separating herself from Keller, but Doug and Beau corner the two of them. While Doug is distracted, Nancy picks up Keller's gun, which Doug ordered him to throw in the direction of himself and his brother; Nancy seriously wounds Doug. Stone lands nearby in the helicopter, and Doug and Beau are taken into custody.
Keller has recovered from his wound. He gets a perfumed letter at the station house. Without opening it, Stone suggests that Keller take a few days off, go and visit Oak Grove, and says "Give my regards to Nancy."
This show was sort of OK, but there were the usual annoyances and inconsistencies. James Woods' character in this show was really irritating, constantly trying to punch people out if he didn't get his way. And, of course, Woods played this very well. Nancy making a big deal about how she knew the forested area because she had grown up in the area was hard to take, because they were not exactly at Oak Grove's town limits as far as I could tell. While I can understand that she knew the locale of the forest ranger station (which was on top of a mountain!), did she play in all of this area when she was a kid or something? At the end, the whole business when Stone arrives by helicopter at the scene where the sheriff has set up Command Central was silly. There seems to be some pretty heavy foliage in the area where the two cars went off the road. Stone is just at the level of the top of the trees but he can seemingly see everything for miles around including J.W. coming back to the highway and the "foothills to the north" where shots were reported. (And can the sheriff communicate easily with Stone from the mike in his car to the mike in the helicopter? Are there established frequencies for this? [I stand to be corrected on this one.]) In the gun store in Oak Grove, Pete is shown buying rifles for himself and the other men to use -- a 30-30 and a 30.06, both for $200 -- using the name "Lawrence N. Powers." He is yelling at the elderly proprietor of the store as if the guy doesn't understand what he is saying, or maybe he is trying to pull a fast one on this guy, saying that he is a Navy man and therefore entitled to buy rifles or something? I don't know. There doesn't seem to be any of the usual waiting period involved to get these rifles, or is that only for pistols and not rifles? In S03E13, Robert Webber's character buys a pistol, but he can only get this after a lengthy approval procedure. Oh yeah -- why does Stone have to keep his hat on when he's in the helicopter?
- Karen Rhodes, author of a book about Hawaii Five-O and who was in the Coast Guard, sent me interesting information about the rank of the four navy men in this show: "Enlisted personnel don't have rank, they have a rating (third-, second-, or first-class petty officer), and a rate, which is their job title (yeoman, storekeeper, boatswain's mate, etc.). Pete [Philip Bruns], the older guy with the crow [the rating insignia on his left sleeve] and all the chevrons, is a chief petty officer. His rate is that of Boatswain's Mate. Since he is a chief petty officer, he wears the regular cover [hat] with the bill. The other three are wearing what were called "Dixie Cups." Pete has 12 years in the Navy, signified by the three red stripes on the lower part of his sleeve. Each one of those represents a four-year enlistment. Beau [Greg Mullavey] wears the crow of a second-class petty officer. He is a yeoman, that is, a clerk who keeps personnel records, and does correspondence, filing, and all that happy stuff. Doug [James Woods] is a Storekeeper second class (finance and supply). J.W. Flowers [Charles Weldon] is a seaman, which is to say he has not struck for his rate yet (hasn't yet decided what job he wants in the Navy). That's the lowest rung on the ladder of enlisted personnel." Thanks, Karen!
- In the show, Oak Grove is in Sonoma County; this is around 60 miles north of San Francisco. There is an Oak Grove in 7 other California counties: Butte (approximately 145 miles northeast of San Francisco); Calaveras (110 miles northeast); San Diego (490 miles southeast); San Mateo (16 miles south); Santa Clara (60 miles southeast); Tulare (224 miles southeast); and Yuba (139 miles northeast).
- Keller has a good line: "'Four sailors and a girl.' Sounds like a musical." Stone replies: "Except for the murder."
- When Pete is trying to remember Nancy's name and a friend that she had so they can track Nancy down, he says "She used to room with that black chick over on Powell." Beau immediately turns to J.W. (who is black) and asks "Do you know her?" as if he knows every black woman in San Francisco.
- Though Pete uses the name "Lawrence N. Powers" while buying the guns, Beau comes up to him and addresses him as "Pete."
- Nancy's father's address in Oak Grove is 144 Eldridge.
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E09: Web of Lies ★★★½
Original air date: November 6, 1975
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writer: Leonard Kantor
Guest Stars: Pat Hingle, Nancy Olson, Wayne Maunder, Robert Walden*
Pat Hingle plays Burt Morris, a salesman dealing in watches and jewellery who, by his own admission, is a "a peddler, a song and dance man." He describes his stock to his wife Jeannie (Nancy Olson) as "cheap junk." Unsuccessful at making a sale with one of his regular customers named Hendrix (Vernon Weddle), who can barely tolerate him, Morris is almost run down on the street by a car containing a trio of crooks who have just pulled off a robbery in the nearby Bay City Diamond Exchange. This trio 's cover is really a trio which plays "funky jazz music" (actually pretty mediocre) under the name of Paul's Trio at the Sound Box club on Telegraph Hill. Paul (Wayne Maunder), the pianist of the group, is trying to fence the unset diamonds which are worth in excess of $100,000, but they have become a liability because their drummer, Frankie (Robert Walden), waiting for them in the car outside the exchange building, shot Charles Thomas, a cop who was responding and who later died. The pimp-like fence Prinz (Alex Colon), who drives a Mercedes, offers them $25,000 but then drops his offer to $10,000 after he is visited by Stone asking him to co-operate with their investigation because of the death of the cop. Burt goes to the police station after a visit from Stone and Keller and provides exaggerated information about the men in the car who narrowly missed running him over and helps to construct a very ambiguous sketch of Frankie, the driver. Burt is also interviewed on television, but realizes about halfway through that he should be keeping his mouth shut. Later, after another witness, a deaf woman named Looten (Audree Norton, uncredited), provides details which totally conflict with what Burt said, Stone and Keller visit him and let him know in no uncertain terms they are not happy about the resources they have wasted based on what he told them. Keller tells him "Do you have any idea how much time you've been costing us? How many men have been working on your lies?" After they leave, his wife pleads with them to "try to understand him ... those stories are what keeps him going." Paul and Willy (Ron Thompson), the jazz group's trumpet player are going to split town after delivering the diamonds to Prinz, but Stone, Keller and Tanner are waiting to bust them. Frankie, who has phoned Burt and threatened him, goes to Burt's place and makes Burt drive the two of them away at gunpoint (where to is a good question). Tipped off by the arrested Paul who wants to "make a deal," Stone and Keller go to Burt's place and see Burt and Frankie driving away and they pursue them. Burt swerves the car, causing it to collide with another vehicle. As Frankie attempts to escape, Burt tackles him on the street as Stone and Keller pull up and take the drummer into custody.
Stone and Keller drive Burt home, where he says that he will tell his wife everything that happened and not exaggerate for change. After he and Nancy go into their place, Keller says that Burt is "trying to compensate..." and Stone finishes the sentence, saying "...strong feelings of inferiority." Stone adds, "I know all about that -- I drive with one every day." Keller laughs, and Stone says, "There's a little bit of that in all of us; it's a way of surviving."
This episode has a lot of parallels to the season one show The Takers, which features Harold Gould as Arthur Lavery, another "old-fashioned" (to us today) jewelry salesman who is connected to a crime. Gould's character has come to the West Coast in hopes of making a better life with his new job and is dismally unsuccessful and hates what he is doing. In this show, the chipper Burt, despite all the work he puts in with almost no results, also is frustrated by his job, saying that it is "not the same any more," and wonders if this is all because of "growing older." Burt is basically a bullshit artist, but I thought that Stone and Keller were being kind of harsh on the guy when they told him that he'd been wasting their time. Stone actually says that he should have booked him -- but on what charge? Like in the earlier show, the two actors playing the married leads -- in this case Hingle and Olson -- both give outstanding performances.
- Burt's home address is 3887 Gary Street. Stone gets this information after visiting the Iron Horse pub where Burt stopped for a drink after almost getting hit by the car. This information is on a card; no idea why -- maybe he has run up a tab at this place?
- At the beginning of the show, there are some topographic issues. For example, there is no suggestion that Hendrix's store is close to the jewelry exchange. In fact, we see the crooks high-tailing away from the place, turning the corner, and then driving fast down another street before they almost run over Burt, which suggests to me that this is at least two or three blocks away. When Burt goes into the Iron Horse, some guy there has already heard about the robbery, which seems odd. While he is investigating, Stone stops at the Iron Horse, which is close to where Burt almost got creamed, but it is theoretically also two or three blocks away.
- When the three crooks are escaping at high speed after the robbery, it looks like the hood of the car is yellow, whereas it was black when we saw it before. This car was stolen, and forensics finds a match in it which has the name of the jazz club printed on it. This seems unusual, and doesn't really lead anywhere because the sketch of Frankie (who is at the club when Keller shows up asking questions) looks like "a couple of hundred others," as the bartender tells Frankie.
- The first fence Paul is dealing with, a guy named Richards, has an interesting way to contact Paul -- he gets a young girl to phone Paul with a simple message: "The deal is off. Goodbye."
- Audree Norton, who plays the deaf witness, was the first deaf actor to appear on an American network television series with her featured appearance in 1968 Mannix's second season premiere episode The Silent Cry.
- Burt's company's is called Ritz Craft.
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E10: Dead Air ★★★
Original air date: November 13, 1975
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writer: Marvin Kupfer
Guest Stars: Larry Hagman, Ina Balin, George Di Cenzo, Dennis Patrick, Arlene Golonka*
Larry Hagman plays Terry Vine, talk show host of the number one radio program in San Francisco, KYOL 93's "Vine, Women and Song." On the air, Vine listens to women tell him their personal problems, mostly to do with their marital relationships. From time to time, he attracts the attention of the husbands, boyfriends and partners of these women who don't take kindly to the advice he offers. Vine has a girl friend, Barbara Tyler (Arlene Golonka), whose father (Dennis Patrick) is a media magnate who is negotiating with Vine for a job on his flagship Los Angeles radio station, which is sagging in the ratings. When a woman that Vine was dating a while back named Ellen Blake is found shot dead and three months pregnant, he becomes a major suspect for Stone and Keller, especially when he admits to lying about his whereabouts on the night Ellen was killed. Angela Atkinson, a friend of Ellen's who worked with her at Pacific Western Insurance, and who knows about Ellen's condition and the possible father, blackmails Vine for $5,000 so she can take a trip to Europe, and is also found dead soon after. Frank Ciano (George DiCenzo), Vine's engineer, taped a conversation between Angela and Vine when she phoned him on air prior to being knocked off. Keller comes to the radio station to listen to it. When Vine finds out about this, he is furious, calling Frank a "baboon." He and Frank come to blows, which is prevented from turning into a major fight by the station's receptionist Penny (Ina Balin). While Keller thinks the case against Vine is open and shut, Stone keeps needling him about having more solid evidence. When Barbara is disturbed after Stone and Keller comes to visit her to confirm an alibi of Vine, she comes to the station to talk to her boyfriend. Just about this time, some man makes a threatening call to Vine, who calls Stone, but he cannot be reached. As Vine gets in his girl friend's car to explain what is going on, someone takes several shots at them. Later, at Barbara's place, her father is not happy about what seems like bad publicity for his upcoming star, but Vine points out that this will cause his ratings at his new job to soar. Barbara's father smiles and agrees to up Vine's salary from $125,000 a year to $175,000, which disgusts his daughter. Relations between Vine and Frank continue to deteriorate, with Frank telling Stone and Keller they are like "cats and dogs." Keller has been listening over and over to the recent crank call which Vine received before the shooting, and flashes back to his first visit to the station, when Frank was playing a recording which was virtually identical. When they go to the station, Frank tells them that he gave the tape of crank calls to Vine, who gave it to Penny, who has had hot pants for Vine for years. She is confronted by Stone and Keller, who determine that she was the one who murdered the two girls and shot at Vine, especially when Vine's gun -- a .25 caliber pistol that he purchased two years before -- is found missing from his desk. He and Penny were the only people who knew it was there, and it was the same caliber as the gun which killed the two women and was used in the shooting at Vine and Barbara (and the same gun was used in all three incidents). Penny blabs away about how much she loves Vine and wouldn't let anybody hurt him. He looks horrified, obviously unaware of her feelings for him. After she is taken away, Vine launches into a lengthy soliloquy in his studio about what he really thinks about his female audience: "The women in this town are a bunch of stupid, insensitive broads with nothing better to do with their time than simper and whine and chatter into that telephone about their petty little lives and their stupid little problems. And I have to listen to all that drivel. I got to listen to all that garbage about their marriages and their husbands and their filthy little affairs which, by the way, they try to justify by the use of the word "love." Most of the women in this town are a bunch of sweaty, unwashed animals with the feelings of a snail and the mentality of a sea anemone. They are self-indulgent, and they're stupid, and they're sick. And the only reason I listen to them is because I am paid to, and I'm paid an awful lot of money." Frank, who is fed up with Vine, has flipped a switch and everything Vine said went out over the airwaves. Shortly after this, Vine gets a call from Barbara's father, who has heard this rant. Vine's career is finished.
Stone and Keller go to some short-order greasy-spoon diner where the specialty is hot dogs. As they order, in the background they can hear Vine, who is now the disc jockey at a radio station across the bay on a country and western station where he has become "your ol' redneck buddy." The chef in the restaurant predicts in another five years, Vine will be "the biggest disk jockey in town." Keller says, "I can wait." Stone says, "I can wait even ten years." When the chef turns the volume on his radio up, the two of them, disgusted by listening to Vine, leave.
Hagman gives a great performance as the arrogant radio host, and the final scene where he gets his comeuppance is delightful. But I found several major problems with the show. First is the business about the "private line." To me this suggests a phone line which goes directly to Vine's desk in the studio, and not through anyone else. But when Barbara and her father are calling Vine, it is Frank who takes the call and transfers it to Terry. (Whether Frank can listen in on these calls is not determined.) Early on in the show, Penny tells Vine that Arlene was calling the main switchboard, but she would not put her through, so Arlene ended up calling Vine on the air, where she was quickly subjected to the six-second broadcast delay and suppressed when she started referring to her friend Ellen. (Frank could overhear and tape the part of her call which did not go on the air.) We don't know what Arlene told Penny (i.e., that Vine had knocked up her pal) and we also don't know how Penny would have knowledge of Ellen, whether Ellen had called or not ... or whether Penny was able to listen in on the "private line" conversations. At the end of the show, Penny is revealed to be the one doing the killing and shooting, after Stone says "We feel someone doctored those tapes," meaning the crank call tapes. The original call, heard by Keller when he was at the station earlier, went as follows:
Caller: That's none of your business. You keep your nose out of it. You ever talk to her again, ever, I'm gonna kill you, Vine."
Vine: "If you don't kill her first."
Caller: "You hear me? The next one's gonna be you."
Frank gave the tapes to Vine, who gave them to Penny "yesterday." (Tapes like this were used as a source of amusement for "the agency boys," according to Frank.) Penny then seemingly was able to listen to the tape, isolate this particular caller's remarks, cut out Vine's line in the excerpt above and then somehow "phoned" this excerpt from the crank call tape to Vine when he was on the air, which caused him to freak out and call Stone. Was she capable of editing that line out? Or did Frank edit it? (I doubt the latter.) Keller also makes a big boo-boo. When Stone is asking Penny where she was at the time of the first killing, Keller blabs out, saying "That's when Ellen Blake was murdered." DUH!! This is so wrong! Keller also trashes Penny's alibi for the day before when she says that she was talking to a "Matt Billings" at the station, but Keller says that he was not there at the time she says he was. (How would they know this?) Stone makes a peculiar assumption earlier, saying that considering someone shot at Vine, Vine can't be the murderer: "It could be just [a] 100% red-blooded American crank," because Vine gets those kinds of calls all the time. This doesn't make any sense, because how would this crank know about the two murdered women? The first, Ellen was a girl friend of Vine who he knocked up and the second was Angela, who was blackmailing Vine, which was unknown to anyone other than Vine and Angela herself (plus Frank and Stone and Keller, who Frank played the tape for.)
- I find it hard to believe that Vine does not see the "On Air" sign at the end of the show earlier than he does. At one point he glances in the direction of the sign, which is red colored and very brightly lit.
- Arlene Golonka looks much cuter and sexier than the picture in the opening credits, especially when she is seen wearing a bikini near the beginning of the show.
- An article in the entertainment section of the local paper about Vine's pending move to Los Angeles is written by Dennis Orbus. The text below this is totally bogus.
- Angela's phone number is 362-9296.
- The Tylers live at 42 Havenswood Drive.
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E11: Merchants of Death ★★★
Original air date: November 20, 1975
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writer: Joseph Polizzi; Music: Duane Tatro
Guest Stars: Michael Kearney, Richard O'Brien, Lonny Chapman, Greg Morris*
Ex-football player Eddie Griffin (Greg Morris, Barney Collier from Mission Impossible) is a worker at the San Francisco Community Youth Project, where one of his jobs is keeping members of rival gangs from each other's throats. As the show begins, there is already trouble, as one of these gangs, the white King's Men is annoyed because the Asian Dragons gang has moved into their territory. Buddy Winston (Michael Mullins), leader of the King's Men, tracks down the Dragons' boss George Chang (George Chung), stabs him to death and throws his body in the harbor. Around the same time, two other kids from the youth project – Rudy Hale (Michael Kearney) and Paulie Binyon (Barry Miller) -- find a shipment of guns destined for South America in a warehouse, which they steal. Rudy wonders whether selling these guns – which include M-16 rifles and .45 caliber pistols -- will get him in trouble, and asks his father (Lonny Chapman), a pharmaceutical salesman, a hypothetical question about what would happen if he sold a knife (not guns). His father, who has been having a conversation with a business associate (which Rudy overheard) that it is not his problem if the amphetamines that he sells legally to drugstores and so forth end up back on the streets, applies similar logic to selling a knife in answer to Rudy's question. Rudy and Paulie witness Buddy and another gang member Rick Jennings (G. Richard Stanley) talking loudly on the street about how they want to get some guns to deal with the Dragons, who are going to amalgamate with another gang, the Scorpions, so their total manpower will outnumber the King's Men 20 to one. Rudy and Paulie make a deal to sell an M-16 to Buddy, who comes up somewhat short on payment. A guy named Preston (Buck Young), a businessman with "a license to export those guns," calls the cops about the fact the guns are missing. This was reported by Carl Hendrix, a security guard (Richard O'Brien), who also witnessed the murder of Chang on a nearby dock, and was the one who called the cops about this. Hendrix comes down to the station and IDs Buddy as the killer, only after getting assurances that he will be protected against retaliation. Buddy is soon arrested after being spotted on the street with the M-16 that he purchased, but unfortunately, he is soon released from custody on a technicality, likely due to his age or the fact that the rifle, which he abandoned after being chased by Stone and Keller, could not be positively connected to him. Once he is out, Buddy and several other gang members track down Hendrix and beat him very badly, so he declines to co-operate any further with Stone and Keller. When Paulie's father catches him with one of the .45s, he goes to see Rudy's father, who freaks out and yells at his son. Rudy throws what his father told him back in his face, that it was OK to sell some weapon like a knife because after it was out of his hands it was not his problem. Rudy's father belts his son in the face and Rudy runs out of the house, followed by Buddy and his gang, who find the rest of the armament stash and beat Rudy senseless. Eddie has been getting vibes from both Rudy and Paulie that something bad was going on, and finally Paulie tells him about the sale of the rifle to Buddy. After Paulie tells him where the guns are located, Eddie goes there and finds Rudy's beaten body. Eddie alerts the cops, who send a large number of squad cars to the location where the unsuspecting Dragons and Scorpions are expecting a rumble, not the King's Men waiting to ambush them with a lot of firepower. Members of the gangs are busted, and Keller shoots Buddy (not fatally) after he lets fly with a blast from an M-16.
At the Youth Project, a car wash is being held, but the boys involved are fooling around, spraying each other with soap and water. Eddie tells them to smarten up, which causes Stone and Keller, who have arrived, to have a good laugh. Eddie talks with the two cops about appearing in court to testify at the trial connected with recent events, and Stone says that any day now, the King's Men will be out on the street, and "there's nothing we can do about it." Eddie says "I'll be waiting for them," and Stone replies, "So will we."
This episode is OK, but the whole business about how Eddie and Paulie find the guns sitting around in an unsecured warehouse really makes me scratch my head. Security on this place is pretty lax, to say the least, and anyone can just walk into it, it seems. Of course, this fits well into the big theme of the story that adults are jerks who don't want to take responsibility for things they sell that can cause harm to others, just like what happens with Eddie and Paulie's little business enterprise. The gangs are well cast, though I am surprised that they don't give Stone and Keller more mouth, considering they are "the fuzz." Paulie and members of the King's Men are able to buy bullets for the M-16 pretty easily, though, on the other hand, it is mentioned that there is a 5 day waiting period if you want to purchase a pistol.
- More than one car of choice for the gang members is a Mustang.
- The deceased Chang's address was 413K Columbus. He was busted on 11/19/75, according to his rap sheet.
- Rudy's home phone number is 552-0024.
- The cost of an M-16 rifle is said to be $357. Rudy and Paulie sell the one they found to Buddy for $50, of which Buddy only pays $20.
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E12: The Cat's Paw ★★½
Original air date: December 4, 1975
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writer: Dorothy C. Fontana
Guest Stars: Diane Baker, Darleen Carr, Mark Miller, Barbara Babcock
Stone gets romantic in this episode, going on a date with Inspector Irene Martin (Diane Baker) from Burglary at a production of Puccini's opera La Boheme. During an intermission, the two of them are called away to investigate a robbery involving one of Martin's pet projects for the last three months, a cat burglar. Checking out the burglar's M.O. on the roof of the building, Stone gives Martin a big kiss. Early the next morning, Stone and Keller are doing a stakeout on a case that they have been working on for some time as well. When the guy they are after escapes from them on a motorcycle that ends up in the harbor, Stone jumps in right after him. That evening, Stone invites Martin to his house where she meets his daughter Jeannie (Darlene Carr). On the way home, Stone proposes to her, but further smooching is interrupted by Keller who tells Stone that it looks like the cat burglar is now involved in murder as well as theft. Tension starts to build between Stone and Martin because she has created a profile in her mind for the burglar who has "never killed before" and is "clever and too sophisticated" to use a gun. Stone, on the other hand, wants to pull out all the stops using typical homicide methods to track him down. The murder victim's name is Naomi Greenwood and her husband Jerome (Mark Miller) looks kind of shifty. There is music which is a bit ominous as the cops' interrogation of him ends. The relationship between Stone and Martin starts to get fractured when Stone tells her to call off stakeouts for the cat burglar and instead assign the men to check out the local pawn shops. Some stolen jewelry from Greenwood's place does turn up, but one item, a blue tiger-eye ring, is missing. The relationship continues to deteriorate when the two are on another date to a museum. Soon after this, the suspected cat burglar kills again, this time a man named Edward Tyrell, husband of Judy (Barbara Babcock), who was home when her husband got shot. Stone and Martin apologize to each other and declare a truce, because it is obvious her burglar really has changed his ways. Jeannie and Martin go shopping for wedding dresses, but Martin confides in Stone's daughter that she thinks marriage with Mike is not going to work out. Martin brings an "overseas report" to Stone which shows a cat burglar named James Gillis (Joel Parks) with a very similar routine to the one the local man is using was busted in England in 1969 and served four years in jail. She says "He is suspected of being the cat burglar who's pulled off dozens of jobs in the biggest cities all over the world." Martin suggests that they check local limousine companies because Gillis might use a job at one of these places to take advantage of high-society victims by robbing their homes after he has driven them to some event. Gillis is in San Francisco, and the two cops manage to track him down far too quickly. Using information about his upcoming schedule at the limousine company, Stone and Martin set a trap for him and he is arrested, but Gillis swears that he has never used a gun and never even owned one. Forensics passes information along to Keller that the same gun was used to murder both Mrs. Greenwood and Mr. Tyrell, so it is suspected that the killings are an "inside job." Stone and Keller go to visit Jerome Greenwood again and lay some heavy accusations on him. He has a good alibi for most of what has happened, but wants to confess something, though he doesn't tell us what we think he is going to. Instead, he puts the blame for his wife's death on Judy Tyrell, with whom he was having an affair. Only after Judy's husband was killed, he realized that Judy also killed his wife after letting herself into his place with a key he had given her for adulterous trysts and copying some of the cat burglar's M.O. to confuse the cops. Martin has gone to see Judy on the assumption she can just rattle her, having suspicions from talking to Stone and Keller earlier as to what is going on with the double killing, but Judy, who kept the blue tiger-eye ring because she had given it to Greenwood and it had "sentimental value," takes Martin hostage. The two of them leave by car, just as Stone passes them on the street. Stone turns around and pursues them as Martin and Judy struggle in the front seat of the car as it is moving. The car stops after it runs into a construction barrier and Judy is busted.
Stone, who is still at work, talks to Jeannie, who wonders if Martin is coming over for dinner. Stone tells her that Martin is "busy" that evening. Martin comes into Stone's office, and the two of them agree that because they are a couple of stubborn old workhorses, it is unlikely that their marriage would work out for the best. Martin gives Stone a kiss, saying "I don't want to lose you -- that's what friends are for."
The sort-of-twist ending to the show is nice, with Judy changing from a tear-stained widow into a harsh bitch. However, there are numerous nitpicky issues about the episode, which starts to lose credibility with the business about the burglar Gillis. There isn't anything established that Gillis might be in San Francisco, but, conveniently for the show, he is. Martin says that based on the reports from "overseas," Gillis had the "exact M.O." as the man she is looking for when he was in England, where he was arrested in 1969: "every detail was the same." This is stupid. What is unique about Gillis's routine? Did the guy do more than just rappel down the side of a building from the roof? Isn't that what cat burglars do? She and Stone find out that Gillis is working for one of the local limousine companies, of which I am sure there is more than one in town. Then they set a trap for Gillis, but how do they do this? Did they make arrangements with someone Gillis was taking to the theater or ballet or whatever and then plant themselves at that person's house? Or did they get an undercover cop to pretend to be a high society person being taken to some such event? Greenwood's behavior is suspicious as to whether he knew or suspected that Judy was the "cat burglar." When Stone and Martin go to see him after his wife is killed, he says no one had a grudge against his wife (not true, I'm sure his mistress Judy sure did) and his wife was not seeing anyone else. While the cops are at his place, he takes a call from "Judy" who is offering help with the wife's funeral and Greenwood says both her name and that of her husband "Ted" (Edward) during the conversation, which Stone, Keller and Martin overhear and recall later. At the end of the show, when Stone and Keller visit him again, Greenwood has an airtight alibi for being in Los Angeles when his wife was killed based on the phone records from his hotel room. (S01E24: "Shattered Image" deals with someone flying to and from Los Angeles to establish an alibi for murder.) But Keller notices that Greenwood phoned the Tyrell residence from L.A. three times on the evening of his wife's murder when Ed Tyrell was not home. (When did they determine that he was not home? After he was killed and they interviewed Judy, would they have asked her about Ed's movements a couple of days before his murder?) From this list of calls, Keller surmises that Greenwood spoke to Judy, but wasn't Judy out murdering Greenwood's wife that evening? Keller once again blabs away inappropriately, putting words in Greenwood's mouth that he was having an affair with Judy. Greenwood then tells them, "I should have told you about this before," and then admits it's true -- he and Judy were having an affair, and she gave him the tiger-eye ring, which is an important clue in the story. Judy was in the process of getting a divorce. Greenwood's wife was starting to get suspicious about what was going on. After his wife was knocked off, Judy became insistent about Greenwood marrying her as soon as her divorce came through, but he said no. Then Ted was killed. Greenwood says, "It had to be Judy." There are still more questions! If Judy killed Greenwood's wife and her own husband, didn't anyone check the roofs above their respective apartments for clues as to how the cat burglar descended? They would have likely found nothing, since Judy was no cat burglar. And is Greenwood really involved, or he is just making his story up? (Keller is told to take him downtown for further questioning.)
- Only three episodes before this one ("Web of Lies") there was an identical scene where a character is taken hostage by a crook with a gun and Stone or Keller passes them in the car and then turns around quickly, leading to the crook's arrest. As in the previous show, there is no indication where the person being held at pistol point is being taken.
- When there is a shot of Gillis descending to the apartment from the roof of a building, there is what looks like a shadow of a crew member in the foreground briefly.
- The music heard prior to the intermission in the opera at the beginning of the show does not correspond to the music heard at the end of any of the acts in La Boheme.
- There are some good laughs in this show when Keller ridicules Stone for his romantic ways. In real life, Malden, born March 22, 1912, was 25 years older than Baker (February 25, 1938). Baker was 12 years older than Darlene Carr, Stone's daughter Jeannie (December 12, 1950).
- When Martin and Judy are fighting in the front seat over the gun and Judy is grabbing the steering wheel, the car is travelling a lot slower compared to the view from outside.
- Presumably it is a stunt man, not Karl Malden, who jumps into the harbor after the guy on a motorcycle that he and Keller are pursuing in the show. Malden is seen closeup in the water after this, but that is quite close to the dock.
- Stone refers to Gillis as "David Niven," the English actor who played a jewel thief in The Pink Panther.
- A large sign advertising Hanratty's Car Rental and Limousine Service spells the word "Limosine."
- No idea what the title of this episode means!
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E13: Spooks for Sale ★★★½
Original air date: December 11, 1975
Director: Michael Douglas; Writer: Albert Rubin
Guest Stars: Fritz Weaver, Andrew Robinson, Allan Miller, Charles Cioffi*
Consulserv (Consultations Services, lnc.) is described as "a private CIA/KGB for hire" which can provide you with "information classified, confidential, secret, begged, borrowed, bought and stolen." As one of the characters in the show explains, "Let's say you want to put a deal together for a company or a multinational corporation or foreign government. Consulserv can grease the wheel, put you next to the right guy, give you an inside track to the top. They can give you all the secrets and tell you where all the bodies are buried." At the beginning of the show Consulserv employees, including ex-cop and friend of Keller's from the police academy Archie Kimbro (Andrew Robinson), are seen breaking into the offices of Burt Dresler (Charles Cioffi), a manufacturer who is "making a fortune in the clothing business." What they are after is a "little black book" which details Dresler's money-laundering activities. He has a checkered history as far as his rap sheet is concerned: extortion, consorting with known criminals, parole violation, possession of narcotics and mob connections. This book is located and various bugs are placed in the office, but the Consulserv people are interrupted by a security guard (Mischa Schwartzmann) who is tied up and dies of a heart attack. Stone tells Bernie the medical examiner (Stephen Bradley) "The law still says [whoever broke into the office] murdered him." When he attends a postmortem regarding the operation, Kimbro is disturbed by what is in the book and tells Ted Whitlock (Fritz Weaver), his boss, that they should turn it over to the Feds. Whitlock pooh-poohs this idea, saying that the book should go to the client who was paying them to find it. Dresler hires a surveillance expert named Brauner (Dennis Robertson) to check his office for bugs and he finds some which were placed there by Consulserv. Brauner has to report this to the cops, because of their possible connection to the felony murder of the watchman. The cops' resident surveillance expert Jimmy Desco (Tom Selleck) figures that these are "cover bugs," and the primary one is still undiscovered. Desco and Keller pinpoint the location where someone is listening to this primary bug, an acquaintance of Desco and one of Consulserv's employees named Ralph Cooper (Jack Thibeau). Cooper escapes from his listening post near Dresler's office, but he leaves behind a custom-made tape recorder, which does not reveal any useful information. When he arrives home, Cooper is kidnapped by some thugs hired by Dresler and tortured, and his body is dumped on the doorstep of Leonard Young (Allan Miller), another clothing designer who is in competition with Dresler's company for a lucrative contract to produce military uniforms. Young is horrified by what has happened, and is suspected by Stone and Keller as the one who contracted Consulserv to get dirt on Dresler in the first place. Kimbro breaks into a filing cabinet in his company's office with an axe and removes Dresler's book. This is around the same time that Dresler wants to contract Consulserv's services. Whitaker sounds like he is going to make a deal to get the book to Desler until he finds out Kimbro has stolen it. Kimbro takes the book to Young, offering it to him for nothing, but the horrified Young refuses to have anything to do with it. In fact, Young has already contacted Whitlock, freaked out by Cooper's murder, and told him to close his account with the company. Stone has tried to interest the Feds in what is going on, but they cannot proceed with evidence that is stolen and has a lot of other conditions which will be very detrimental to any case they try and build against Dresler. Stone and Keller are getting fed up, because no one they talk to knows anything, and they figure everyone is lying. Keller, who had a screaming match with Kimbro earlier when he tried to get his pal to tell him exactly what was going on, contacts him again. Kimbro is very nervous because some hood employed by Dresler recently tried to kill him. Acting as bait, Kimbro meets in an abandoned warehouse with Dresler to sell him his book back for $25,000. Stone and Keller are nearby and when the book is in Dresler's hands, he is busted.
As Whitlock is arrested and taken away from the company, he tells Kimbro, "You take things too seriously." Kimbro tells Stone and Keller, "He'll get out before I do." Keller says, "That's not the answer, Arch. You break into someplace, take anything you want, bug it, hell, with legalities -- I mean, that's nothing." Stone asks Kimbro, "When you were a cop, you played it by the rules. Why did you quit being a cop?" Kimbro replies, "l figured there had to be an easier way." Keller says, "Well, if you find one, let us know."
This show took a bit of work to totally comprehend because the script is densely written. The acting throughout is of a very high caliber. Tom Selleck's laid-back performance as the police department's surveillance man Desco is very good, which is not to say that the performances of the other actors like Andrew Robinson, Fritz Weaver and others, are not equally good. Weaver, whose character of Whitlock is described as "ex-CIA," is very oily. The episode is directed by Michael Douglas.
- Dresler uses a telephone where the information about the person he is calling is on a punch card which is inserted into the phone near the top.
- When he is snooping on Dresler's office, Cooper is using a mobile telephone – KG6-2114. He asks the mobile operator to call 362-9296.
- Stone tracks Dresler down to a bar where he gets very tough with him. But how does he know this is where to find Dresler?
- The Federal Building at 450 Golden Gate Avenue is seen.
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E14: Most Likely to Succeed ★★★½
Original air date: December 18, 1975
Director: William Hale; Writer: John D. Hess
Guest Stars: Kristoffer Tabori, Charles Aidman, Patricia Smith, Tom Troupe
Paul Kincaid (Kristoffer Tabori) is a student at the Armsby private school. His family is well-off and he is expected to get into Harvard after he graduates at the end of the current year. But Paul knows that this isn't going to happen, because he is getting a failing grade in one course, Chemistry. He approaches his Chemistry teacher, Tom Hanna (Tom Troupe) and asks him to reconsider, but is rebuffed. Paul starts to get antsy, because his father Russell (Charles Aidman) wants him to meet an executive from his company who has Harvard connections and who will make Paul's admission there a done deal. Paul goes to Hanna's house where his teacher is entering the final marks in a book and begs him to change his F to an A, saying his whole life will be ruined because of "one stinking, lousy grade." When Hanna again says no, Paul picks up a trophy and clubs Hanna on the head, killing him. Stone and Keller are soon on the case, immediately noticing something suspicious because of the way Hanna's room was tossed to make it look like a burglary. Having taken Hanna's grade book home, Paul changes his mark using some bleach and Hanna's pen. He then takes the book and puts it in Hanna's desk at the school. He also takes the pen, which has Hanna's name engraved on it, and puts it in the locker of Bobby Tilton (Scott Colomby), who has had issues with the student-run honor committee of which Paul is the chairman because he was suspected of stealing things like a watch from someone's locker. When Keller goes to the school, Gerald Gardner , the principal (Ben Hammer), asks him to keep the news of the murder out of the paper because it might reflect badly on the school. Paul takes the opportunity to bad-mouth Bobby when Keller talks to him. When Bobby finds the pen in his locker, he knows someone is setting him up and narrowly avoids Stone finding the pen when he and Keller are grilling him. Paul aces his interview with his father's friend, but his euphoria ends quickly when he gets a call from Bobby who wants to see him because Paul is "the only guy in the school that I can talk to." The two of them meet near a golf course which has some high cliffs above the ocean. Bobby suggests that if failing Hanna's course made him a suspect, then Paul could also be a suspect, because Bobby saw the grade book when he was snooping in Hanna's desk two weeks before where he saw Paul's mark. Paul denies he was failing the course and had a 3.9 average, then realizes Bobby knows what is up and pushes him off the cliff. When Bobby is rescued, he is unconscious, though expected to recover. Stone and Keller realize there is something fishy, because items from Hanna's room which were stolen have been recovered, except for his pen which was found on Bobby's body at the bottom of the cliff. As well, the grade book, which Hanna's wife said he was working on the evening he was killed, was found in Hanna's desk at the school, which doesn't make any sense -- obviously someone put it there after the murder. When the two cops show up at the school and start asking about the grade book, Paul, who overhears their conversation, freaks out and returns home where he has a psychotic episode, destroys much of his room and attacks his father with a sword. Paul then takes the family car and drives to a location near the Golden Gate Bridge where he and his sister Vicky (Devon Ericson) used to joke about "cooling off." Tipped off by Vicky about this place which is also at the top of a cliff above the ocean, Stone and Keller arrive there quickly. Keller uses his negotiation skills and manages to prevent Paul from killing himself, telling him that life is like a movie: "If you leave during the bad part, you'll never know if it's going to get any better."
At the station, Paul is downstairs being booked. The family's lawyer is going to get him to plead insanity, but Keller says that the kid knew exactly what the difference was between right and wrong. Stone says he wishes the parents knew what was wrong, that they have the attitude "We gave him everything." Keller says, "Yeah, except the right to fail."
Unlike in School of Fear earlier this season, the "student" actors in this show are well cast, actually looking like students, despite the fact that the three lead characters at the school (Paul, Bobby and Gil (Leigh McCloskey)) were all in their early 20s. The director of this episode is the same as School of Fear, though! Tabori, who specialized in "troubled youth" roles during his early career, is excellent as the hyper-emotional Paul, who makes several blunders which would qualify him for a "dumb criminal" award. Aidman as his father is pretty perky, though his sister (who is majorly cute) and mother Rae (Patricia Smith) spend most of their time rattling off stereotypical stuff including some remarks about women's lib like "You're a girl, and there's some things you don't understand." Direction and photography for the show are very good.
- The climactic location by the Golden Gate Bridge is the same as in season two's Betrayed, the episode with Martin Sheen.
- Hanna's car, seen near the beginning of the show, is a Porsche 914 from around 1969-1972 (thanks to Mike Timothy).
- The music at the beginning of the show is kind of banal.
- Gil asks Paul: "Did you talk to the fuzz yet?"
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E15: Police Buff ★★★½
Original air date: January 8, 1976
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writers: Guerdon Trueblood & Walter Bloch
Guest Stars: Bill Bixby, Christopher Stone, Bert Freed, Fred Sadoff
Bill Bixby, who played an assassin for hire in S03E03, returns as Eric Doyle, a reject from the police academy who dresses up like a motorcycle cop with dark glasses and exacts "an eye for an eye" justice by murdering criminals who get off on technicalities. Doyle's real job is a decorator for the Golden Gate Decorator Service and he is constantly at odds with his boss Morry (Bert Freed) over his absences from work while he is out cleaning up the streets. His first victim is smart-talking mobster-like Joey Lucero (Robert Miano), responsible for the death of policeman Al Crane and wounding three people during a store robbery. Crane's former partner for 8 years, Officer Todd Harris (Christopher Stone), is pissed off at the judge's decision to let Lucero go because the prosecution has failed to make a prima facie case, and starts to fly off the handle at a TV reporter after the case is dismissed, something which Mike Stone, who is equally pissed, puts a quick stop to. Doyle approaches Harris in a bar later where the latter is drowning his sorrows and tries to chat him up, but Harris tells him to take a hike. Doyle keeps the uniform which he uses during his killings, complete with badge #3750, on a mannequin in his apartment and he carries on conversations with it. Doyle persists in phoning Stone to pat himself on the back about what a great job he is doing "making this town a better place to live." Unfortunately, he never stays on the phone long enough for the call to be traced. Stone and Keller go to the TV station and review footage from after Lucero's trial and also speak to the bailiff who was present in the courtroom to try and figure out who the killer is, but their efforts don't pay off. Lenny Murchison (Fred Sadoff), SFPD's resident shrink is also on hand to offer advice. Whereas Lucero actually really was guilty, Doyle's next victim, Jack Williamson (Larry St. James), was accused of rape in error. He was miles away from the crime and had 10 witnesses to back him up. When Johnny Roscoe, Lucero's long-sought partner who was also connected with Crane's murder, is arrested, Stone sets up an elaborate trap for Doyle, with Keller taking Roscoe's place in a hotel where he is living. Doyle comes to the hotel, but the chatter on the police scanner which he carries with him constantly tips him off that the place is full of cops. Doyle misleads them by going down to the basement instead of the fifth floor where "Roscoe" is staying and slips out of the hotel. Stone is co-ordinating things outside in his car, and Doyle takes him hostage, ordering him to drive away. Fortunately, Stone puts his walkie-talkie on the car seat with the transmit switch on so Keller and Tanner (Reuben Collins) can follow them. Doyle, who is upset about Stone's lack of appreciation for his efforts, is about to murder him in a public park, but the two pursuing cops drive up behind them and Doyle is knocked down and taken into custody.
Murchison has been up for 36 hours going through lists from the police academy to find out who failed the course, as well as those who didn't make it through probation. He says he has narrowed the list from 582 names down to three suspects, one of whom is Doyle. Stone makes a big deal to Keller about leaving the building to go after Doyle, even though he is already in custody. When Keller wonders why, Stone says he will tell Murchison they already caught him later, "but it's safer to tell him after he's had a good night's sleep."
Bixby exceeds his previous appearance big time, earning himself a place in the top "nutters" on the show like John Davidson's female impersonator in S03E04. The scene where Doyle talks to the mannequin in his apartment, which he addresses as "Jack," is extremely creepy. But the whole business with "Roscoe" doesn't make any sense. Keller dresses up and pretends to be Roscoe in gangster-like clothing. After he is released pending payment of $55,000 bail, he leaves the courtroom where he encounters a reporter and a photographer. Keller has been on the force for over three years -- wouldn't anyone recognize him, like Doyle? (Doyle is not present in the courtroom, though he is in the courthouse, sort of hiding.) Furthermore, how does Doyle know that "Roscoe," after he makes bail, is living in the Hotel El Cortez? Another thing that bothers me is Stone turning on the walkie-talkie so Keller can follow him. Surely Doyle, more of a cop than a cop, would notice that he did this! There is also no indication of why Doyle considered Stone to be his best buddy –- maybe he is the most senior detective in homicide?
- When the news crew shows up at the courthouse at the beginning of the show, their truck says KYOL-TV, seemingly connected with the place where Terry Vine (Larry Hagman) worked in S04E10. But later when Stone and Keller go to the TV station to view footage from the courthouse, the sign on the building suggests the station's call letters are KBEX. Later, in a bar where Harris is again drinking and Doyle also shows up again, there is a news broadcast about Roscoe being captured which is on station KYOL.
- On the Shout Factory DVDs of this show, some of the footage when Doyle is shooting Williamson is very grainy. The way Williamson is killed, with a bullet going through a milk carton in his shopping bag, is sort of reminiscent of a similar killing in the film The Manchurian Candidate involving a milk carton.
- Fred Sadoff appears in the list of guest stars at the beginning of the show, not as a recurring character.
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E16: The Honorable Profession ★★★½
Original air date: January 15, 1976
Director: Harry Falk; Writer: Paul Robert Coyle
Guest Stars: Robert Reed, Linden Chiles, Shelly Novack
Two punks attempt to rob a pharmacy and Peter Ciurila, a motorcycle cop (Christopher Beaumont), is shot after he responds to an alarm. The robbers leave in a hurry, but are captured by Stone and Keller. Because the crooks disposed of their guns and the pharmacist was knocked out before he got a good look at either of them, the only witness to the robbery is Dr. Arnold Holtfield (Robert Reed), who was in the store and who attempted to help the wounded cop, who later dies in the hospital. When Stone and Keller try to track Holtfield down based on the ID he gave, he does not exist. We cut to Holtfield who is treating Martha Travis (Virginia Gregg), an old lady staying at the Kingston Manor rest home. Her son, Hank (Linden Chiles), from whom she has been estranged for about 10 years, is visiting her from Phoenix. Hank confronts Holtfield, whose name is now Dr. Martin Avery, regarding the medication that was prescribed for his mother, whose condition is deteriorating. Hank had this medicine analyzed, and it turned out to be a placebo. Hank tells Avery that unless he kills his mother (through some "medical" means), he will expose him as a fraud. Hank's mother has left Avery $20,000 in her will. With the old lady out of the way, both of them will benefit, because Hank will get the remaining $80,000 from her estate. Stone and Keller discover that the name Holtfield was that of another doctor who passed away in 1972. Late at night, Hank meets again with Avery, who he has given some time to think about his proposal. Avery tells him that he cannot take a human life. Hank says if his mother is still alive 24 hours later, he will really spill the beans. As Hank steps away from Avery's car, he is killed by a hit and run driver. Avery examines Hank's body but then drives away quickly. There is a witness to all this, Fred Arlen (George Clifton) but he can only provide sketchy details to the cops. Stone goes to visit Doctor Holtfield's widow Elaine (Joan Tompkins), who lives in San Rafael, and shows her a police artist's sketch of Avery. She identifies him as a kid who was boarding with them many years before and who, after helping out her late husband in his practice, decided to become a doctor. This kid's real name (and this really is his real name) is Peter Callahan. The pieces of the puzzle regarding this imposter begin to come together and are cemented when Dr. Eddie Dunne (Shelly Novack), who has worked with "Avery" at the Bay Street Free Clinic, identifies him based on the sketch which Stone left at a hospital. Unfortunately, Dunne tips off Callahan that the cops are looking for him. Callahan prepares to leave town, but he gets a call from Mrs. Travis's rest home, saying that she is likely going to die soon and has been asking for him. Callahan goes to hold her hand, and Stone and Keller show up to take him into custody. As Mrs. Travis is on her way out of the place to go to a hospital despite her protest that she would rather be looked after by Callahan, she has an attack of some kind, which Callahan treats, stablizing her condition.
Aside from charges of impersonating a doctor, which will likely be dealt with later, Callahan seems to be relieved after everything that has happened as he talks to Stone and Keller in Stone's office. Keller tells him that the doctor at the hospital said that Callahan did a good job with the wounded cop. Callahan says that he is sorry for all the trouble he caused. Stone tells him that the hit-and-run driver who killed Hank, who was drunk at the time, turned himself into the police. Keller says that Mrs. Travis is asking to see him, and he will visit her on the way home. For the moment, Stone wants Callahan to identify the two robbers from the drugstore. As they leave, Keller wonders why, given Callahan's "natural affinity for helping people," he doesn't become a paramedic. When Callahan balks at this, saying he is too old for the job, Keller says "I don't think there's any age limit for helping people, do you?"
Overall, a very good episode. Reed is perfect as the guy who is sincere in what he is doing, but caught between a rock and a hard place after all that happens to him. We don't really find out what else he is doing other than looking after Mrs. Travis, though, aside from working in the free clinic where he harangues Dr. Dunne who has some harsh words about another doctor who he describes as a "butcher" because of the number of hysterectomies that he performs. Stone is very annoyed at the beginning of the show when the pharmacist wonders when he is going to get back the $178.23 which was stolen during the robbery. The ending, with everything wrapped up, including Callahan getting off the hook because of the hit-and-run driver's confession, seems a bit too "nice," though. One thing I have to wonder: If Mrs. Travis is giving $20,000 to her doctor and she doesn't like her son, who she describes to Avery as "a vulture," why didn't she just cut her son out of her will? Also, after Hank is killed, how do they track down his mother in the rest home, where Keller goes to talk to her?
- The pharmacy at the beginning of the show is the "Bataan Memorial Pharmacy," though the sign above it looks like the first two letters of the name are damaged. The police dispatch says the robbery is at 2722 Bay Street, which is actually the address for the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts. The street number of the pharmacy is 2801.
- At the hospital where the cop dies, Stone and Keller are talking to a doctor on staff why "Holtfield" gave a phony name at the crime scene. The doctor suggests that this was because Holtfield was worried about getting sued for malpractice, but Keller points out that California has a Good Samaritan law (an actual law) which says "No person who in good faith, and not for compensation, renders emergency care at the scene of an emergency shall be liable for any civil damages resulting from any act or omission."
- When Angie (Rosanna DeSoto) from the Free Clinic talks to Callahan about working a couple of hours to help out Dunne and Callahan agrees, she says "Groovy." He tells her, "I thought that went out with 'boss' and 'neato'."
- Larry Manetti, later of Magnum, P.I., appears as one of the two punks robbing the pharmacy.
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E17: Requiem for Murder ★★½
Original air date: January 22, 1976
Director: Harry Falk; Writer: James Johnson Sweeney
Guest Stars: Richard Basehart, Fionnuala Flanagan, Stephen Young, Cal Bellini, William Windom*
Catholic Bishop Tim Farrow (Richard Basehart) who, of course, is an old friend of Stone's, gets shot in his church. Barely alive, he is rushed to hospital where he manages to beat the odds and recover, and soon returns back to Saint Ambrose's. The number of people who are suspects is very limited, and Stone and Keller come to the eventual conclusion that it was an "inside job." Topping the list is Father Wilson (Stephen Young), a radical-type priest who associates with "illegal groups" including "long-haired perverts and junkies and ex-cons ... all violent people," some of whom are involved in acts of civil disobedience like a rent strike. When Stone asks Farrow to identify the person who shot him, Farrow is totally unco-operative, saying words to the effect that his fate is in God's hands. Monsignior Frank Carruthers (William Windom), probably the member of the clergy who is closest to Farrow, tells Stone that Farrow was having a "crisis of faith," a fancy way of saying he had fallen in love with Ellen Simms (Fionnuala Flanagan), a young woman who is the church's co-ordinator for social counselling and who wanted to marry him. Farrow intends to resign from the priesthood, announcing this in the sermon during his next Mass. Before he can do this, however, Farrow is shot again, this time killing him as he is praying in church. The gun used in the shootings is traced back to Wilson, but he has alibis in several different directions, including one related to $10,000 which Farrow had given him for his work with his down-and-out parishioners that first looked as if Wilson had stolen it. This shortage of cash is pointed out to Stone and Keller by George Webster (Walter Brooke), a lay advisor to the church who is also reportedly one of San Francisco's biggest slum landlords. In a Perry Mason-like finale, Farrow's killer is revealed to be his housekeeper, Mrs. Costello (Irene Tedrow), who totally doted on Farrow and expected him to be eventually elevated to the position of cardinal, "a prince of the church." At the end of the show, a private Mass for Farrow is to be held at the bishop's altar, and Carruthers asks Mrs. Tedrow to prepare it. As she opens up a drawer in the sacristy where Tanner earlier found what looked like altar cloths which had the smell of gun oil (but no gun), a gun (presumably the gun) is seen in this location. Looking up at a picture of Jesus, Tedrow says "Oh Lord, forgive me," just as Stone and Keller enter the room. She confesses that killing Farrow because he was going to resign would "spare him a lifetime of shame" because "it would have disgraced my church ... if he had confessed to his sins."
Stone and Keller meet Carruthers near Farrow's grave. Carruthers say he is going to read Farrow's last sermon that morning, just the way he wrote it. Ellen is seen placing a rose on the grave nearby. Carruthers tells them that Ellen is working for Father Wilson now. Stone says "He [Farrow] wouldn't tell me what happened because he was protecting her, right?" Keller says, "Well, he thought Ellen hid the gun for him." Stone says, "Every time I look around, I expect to see him." As he goes into the church, Carruthers says, "Oh, he's around, all right."
Up to a certain point, this show is very good, but the ending is badly written or edited. The gun involved in the two shootings once belonged to Wilson, who had it taken away from him by Farrow, as we learn later when Wilson is hauled down to the station as the number one suspect. But Wilson is off the hook when Carruthers shows Stone Farrow's notes for his last sermon where Farrow revealed he used the gun to attempt suicide over his feelings for Ellen. Stone is totally shocked by this, and Keller says "I guess the gun was in the bishop's hand in the first shooting." But when was this mentioned previously? When they are at the church at the beginning of the show, a cop tells Stone, "No sign of a gun." A "young woman" -- presumably Ellen -- was seen leaving the rectory after the suicide attempt and before the ambulance arrived by a witness on the street (though no mention is made of Ellen's very red hair). I guess Ellen had hidden the gun in the drawer as suggested in the Epilog, but then Tedrow found it later and used it to knock off Farrow. But why wasn't the gun in the drawer when Tanner was looking there, and why was Tedrow so shocked when she found it as she prepared for the private Mass? As well, Tedrow really doesn't strike me as the kind of person who would resort to such extreme measures as killing Farrow despite her serious devotion to the man!
- When Farrow returns from the hospital, he is in a wheelchair. In a Hawaii Five-O fifth season episode, The Odd Lot Caper, Basehart plays Donald Murdock, a wheelchair-bound developer.
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E18: Underground ★★★½
Original air date: January 29, 1976
Director: Paul Stanley; Writers: Sean Baine, Philip Saltzman
Guest Stars: Robert Drivas, Jason Evers, Claudia Jennings, David White, Suzanne Charny, Leslie Charleson*
Danny Segal (Robert Drivas, the son from Hawaii Five-O's Vashon trilogy) is a easy-going beat cop. When he finds out from his sister Kay (Jodean Russo) that their parolee brother Eddie (Forrest Draper) is hanging out with local gambling boss Willy Kurland (Ken Lynch) at the races and, not only that, has his gun with him, Danny heads to the track. Stone and Keller are also there doing surveillance because they have heard a hitman named Bobby Waldron (Joe E. Tata) is going to knock off Kurland. This happens, and Eddie also gets killed when he steps in to the line of fire. Stone tells other cops to take Danny in and notify Internal Affairs. As Kurland expires, he whispers to Stone, "Somebody's moving in." Back at the station, Captain O'Hare (Robert F. Simon) outlines a plan whereby Danny will appear to be kicked off the force, but will actually go underground to "get inside one of the biggest sports gambling operations in the city." The only person who will know about this is Stone, who objects to this operation because he says that Danny just wants to get revenge for his brother's killing by taking care of Waldron. Danny resumes his brother's business taking bets, but a punk named Johnny Blackwell (William Campbell), a friend of Eddie's, tells him "there's a new boss man in town and he doesn't like freelancers, so stay off the street." Danny tries to find Waldron by locating his girl friend, Sunny Malone (Suzanne Charny). To do this, he enlists help from an old high school pal Evie (Claudia Jennings) who has become a hooker. Meanwhile, at a marina, bagman Ben Rush pays off Waldron and tells him to get out of town. Stone and Keller track down Sunny by talking to a swishy "beautician" at a dog wash where Sunny gets her poodle pampered. She is holed up with Waldron in the Cable Motel. Danny beats the two cops there, where he attempts to arrest Waldron, but the hitman pulls a gun and Danny shoots him dead, then flees the scene. Stone is not happy about this because Waldron was their only lead to the gambling syndicate. Keller is also annoyed, saying that Danny obviously killed Waldron, but Stone has to keep his mouth shut. Stone meets Danny at the Garden of Eternity Mausoleum where his brother was interred that morning and Danny missed the funeral because he was out hunting Waldron. Danny is not happy about his new job, but Stone tells him to persevere. Danny gives Stone a lead, that Blackwell is probably working for the new boss. While he is hustling up some betting action at the Round 9 bar, Danny meets his girl friend Donna Sinclair (Leslie Charleson). She says that she doesn't understand him any more, but he tells her to be patient. Stone assigns Keller to do surveillance on Blackwell, and at a basketball game, they see him hanging out with Rush, formerly a gofer for Kurland and a "Mr. Big" type who Records and Information later identifies as Frank Garson (David White) from Saint Louis. Danny goes to a bookie joint where he tries to warn Kilgoe (Jerry Walter), the boss, about an impending police raid on the joint. Kilgoe tells Danny to get lost, that they don't need him and he should find another line of work. The cops bust down the door at that moment, and Danny takes a swing at Stone, prompting Keller to deck Danny. Danny is bailed out by Rush, who offers him a job with the organization. Stone and Keller manage to track down Waldron's girl friend Sunny and they grill her at the station. She acts clueless, but IDs Rush as the guy who paid off her late boyfriend. After she leaves, Sunny goes to see Garson and tells him a story that she heard a couple of cops at the bus station (!) talking about Rush, that he would do "flip-flops" and maybe turn against his current boss (meaning Garson) if he was promised immunity. Garson gives Sunny some money and sends her on her way. That evening Danny and Rush hang out; they further discuss employment opportunities for Danny. While they are driving, Danny tells Rush that he can get immunity if he fingers Garson. Rush tells Danny that there was one thing his brother Eddie (with whom Rush was acquainted) taught him: "Never deal with punks." When they arrive at Rush's apartment garage, Garson and Blackwell are waiting for them, but Stone and Keller show up almost immediately. There is a skirmish with Blackwell surrendering and Garson getting wounded by Danny. Just before he rushes away, Danny urges Rush to co-operate with the police.
Danny meets with Stone, who says "Garson's down on all counts. Ben Rush will be taken out of the state under federal custody." Danny wonders when he can "get back in the harness." Stone says a meeting is scheduled with the captain, and Danny immediately realizes they are not going to get him to stop his clandestine work. Danny says "I'm not cut out for it," but Stone tells him, "It's a great cover." When Stone offers him a promotion to inspector with a raise in salary if he continues being undercover for a while. Danny complains, "Why can't I be a cop just like every other cop?" But eventually decides to stay under longer ... but only if he, rather than Stone is the one to break the news to his family, especially his sister.
This episode, one of those shows where you can't tell the players without a scorecard, was complicated, but a second viewing paid off. It is clever the way that Danny sets up Rush, but also the way that Stone and Keller set up Sunny by throwing information at her which she immediately parrots to Garson. Danny is Jewish (though a big deal is not made about this) and there are several references to this in the show: "[I'm] the only Jewish leper in town" (as he leaves the police station in disgrace); "He's a Jew and you're a Protestant, and that's incompatible." (he recalls Evie's parents objections which kept them from being a number); "[D]o a favor for a little Jewish boy?" (he asks Evie where Sunny is staying); "I'm a broken Jewish worm. What can l tell you?'' (at the end of the show, he anticipates his sister's reaction to his staying underground -- like a worm). There are also a couple of scenes with Danny's father Leo (Harry Davis), who runs a delicatessen. Despite what has happened to him, the old man says, "I don't care what people say about you as long as I know it isn't true." Danny confirms that it is not true, but he cautions his father, "You shouldn't tell anybody. If you do, I'm gonna be in a lot of trouble."
- When the show ends, Keller tells Stone that he knew about Danny's undercover work "since you put that other team on the Waldron case" (I totally don't understand this) and that he "didn't want to blow his cover." But Keller is standing right beside the car with Rush and Blackwell in the back seat when he says this, duh!
- At the race track when Danny approaches Kurland he is on the crime boss's left side. But in the next shot, Danny is on Kurland's right.
- As Danny leaves the station in disgrace, the people standing in the background in the police garage disappear from one shot to the next.
- Blackwell's mug shot number is 51427. Garson's with the St. Louis police department is 245746. Rush's is 27451.
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E19: Judgment Day ★★★
Original air date: February 19, 1976
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writer: Ron Buck
Guest Stars: Michael Burns, Ward Costello, Lynnette Mettey, Fred Sadoff, Jean Hagen
Barry Jensen (Michael Burns) has been seeking vengeance against a group of lawyers and judges who were responsible for disbarring his lawyer father Elliott (James McCallion) a few years ago. Barry shows up at the offices of these people pretending to be working for a legal publishing house called Education for Lawyers. He offers them a copy of a book entitled Disbarment Proceedings, after which he shoots them dead. Stone and Keller get involved when Judge Lela Matthews (June Dayton) is murdered. Both the judge and her daughter Ellen (Lynette Mettey) are acquaintances of Keller. Ellen, in fact, was Keller's girl friend for a while. The two cops are stumped when trying to establish some kind of a connection between all of Jensen's victims. A process of elimination leads them to the State Bar Association, where they learn about troubles Elliott had, including jury tampering, that led to his disbarment by a board of lawyers which included several of the people who have already been killed. Elliott, who looks like a bum, lives on welfare in a run-down apartment and rarely goes outside. His landlady (Jean Hagen), who prefers to be addressed as "Ms." Unger, says he is three months behind on his rent. Elliott tells Stone and Keller that the only person who takes care of him these days is his son Barry (Michael Burns), who Elliott thinks is studying to be a lawyer like his old man. (Elliott dropped out of Berkley after his father was disbarred.) There is only one more person from the board which made the decision about Elliott who is still alive in the San Francisco area, Judge Amos Abrams (Ward Costello). Over Abrams' objections, Stone takes his place in the small claims court where he works, with the judge among the spectators. The way Stone deals with some of the cases is pretty funny. Barry shows up in the court building and calls in a bomb threat, hoping to assassinate who he thinks is Abrams as he flees from the building. But Keller shows up and sees Barry hiding on a balcony with a gun pointed in Stone's direction. Keller fires a shot, but is wounded. Stone recovers a hollowed-out book that Barry used to carry the gun he used, which has a stamp from the bogus Rutledge University of Law, where Barry works in the library. Despite his injuries, Keller joins Stone as the two of them go to the library with a photo of Barry taken from his driver's license. Barry is surprised when "Judge Abrams" suddenly shows up at his workplace. A gunfight in the library followed by a lengthy pursuit across the campus leads to Barry being fatally shot by Keller.
Stone gets the word about the decisions as a "judge" he made from Abrams who was sitting in the back of the courtroom and was the one who actually provided the verdict. (Stone took the cases "under submission.") Four of of the 10 decisions were the opposite of Stone's. Keller thinks this is all pretty amusing, despite the fact that Stone tells the judge over the phone "It was a great experience sitting behind that bench." Keller tells Stone, "Maybe that's why you're behind the desk, and he's behind the bench." Because Keller had a couple of years of law school, Stone starts asking him questions, and Keller says, "I don't know what you're talking about."
This show is very good for the way it illustrates the process by which the cops figure out that Barry is responsible for the killings. Judge Matthews' daughter Ellen does not seem to be as upset about her mother's death as we might expect, though. Lynette Mettey is kind of wasted in her brief part, actually, as is Jean Hagen's peculiarly-accented landlady. Fred Sadoff as police shrink Lenny Murchison, who again gets guest star billing, also doesn't have a lot to do. The way that Keller can leave the hospital and suddenly be firing on all cylinders as he chases Barry at the end of the show is amazing.
- A student named Lester (played by Robert B. Hayes of "Airplane" fame) argues with Barry in the university library about the best kind of lawyer job to have. Barry is very upset about Lester's attitude that he just wants a easy corporate position, not that of a trial attorney.
- Although the music is stock, the funk music during the chase at the end of the show and some ominous passages at the beginning are interesting.
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E20: Clown of Death ★★
Original air date: February 26, 1976
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writers: Arthur Rowe
Guest Stars: David Birney, Michael Strong, Madlyn Rhue, Dick Van Patten, Lynne Marta*
While the USA National Circus is giving a show for some patients at the Ralph K. Davies Medical Center, one of their clowns goes to a room where a former circus employee named Albert Reiner who is terminally ill is connected to a respirator. The clown unplugs the machine, killing him. Stone and Keller investigate, and talk to Red Ashburn (Michael Strong), another of the circus clowns, who says that Neil Ruggers (David Birney), their tightrope artist, is related to both the brothers, who were his uncles. They talk to Ruggers, who was unaware Albert was killed that morning. Neil was raised by the two men for several years after his mother died. Stone and Keller have already been to the apartment of Reiner's brother Hans, who did not show up for his daily visit to see Albert. They return there and are admitted into the place by the landlady Mrs. Clemons (Mary Jackson), only to find Albert dead. She tells them that a young man, who she identifies from a photo discovered in the room as Ruggers, came there this morning. The two cops return to the venue where the circus is being held, the Cow Palace, where they talk to Ashburn, who is in another photo found in Albert's room with the brothers and two other circus employees named Boylan and Murdock. Ashburn recalls there was some trouble connected with the people in the photo other than himself, but cannot remember any details. Ruggers, who has been away from the troupe for several hours, returns, and his girl friend Barbara Franco (Lynne Marta) tips him off that the cops want to talk to him. While Ashburn is performing his routines during the ensuing circus show, he is shot by the killer clown using what looks like a prop gun (but is a serious weapon), which causes him to be sent to the hospital. Keller confronts Ruggers and takes him downtown for a severe grilling, especially considering Ruggers stands to benefit from the life insurance policies of his two uncles to the tune of $20,000. Ruggers is hesitant to provide an alibi for the time of Hans's murder, but finally confesses that he was shacked up in a motel with a married woman from the circus named Gina Marshall at the time. At the hospital, Asburn is hanging on to life by a thread because most of the blast from the gun was absorbed by the padding in his costume. Stone and Keller return to the circus again, where they get a sketch artist to produce a picture of the killer based on what the other clowns witnessed. One of them, Sparky (Will Hutchins) sends them to a local "clown museum" which is located in the back of an arcade run by Freddie Olburn (Russell Thorson). Olburn recognizes the killer clown's makeup as that of Cesar Volnak, a European clown who later became a high wire walker and died in England in 1971. When asked if he recognizes two other names on the back of the photo of the five men, Boylan and Murdock (Maurice Argent), Freddie says that Murdock is a former ringmaster now living in Vancouver, which just happens to be the next stop for the circus. Stone arranges to talk to Murdock, who tells him that he, the two brothers and Boylan, were the riggers for Volnak's act. When Volnak was badly injuried in a fall, he blamed the four men, saying he would kill them. Stone receives news from the hospital that Ashburn has died from complications. He goes to the circus and puts on Ashburn's costume and joins the other clowns during a performance. Nothing happens, but afterwards, when he is removing his makeup, the killer takes a shot at him. Pursued by Stone and Keller, the clown is revealed to be Barbara, who is Volnak's daughter. She was seeking revenge for the accident which ended her father's career, telling them "He was my father and they killed him. Those drunks. I took care of him for six years and I watched him die. He was a good man and they killed them."
Stone and Keller go to visit Freddie. Stone gives him Ashburn's costume. Stone explains that Barbara will go to trial, charged with the murder of the two uncles (who she used Neil to help locate) as well as Boylan, who was killed in Denver when the circus last visited there. Stone looks at a display case with some clown masks, saying he would sure like one of these. Freddie says no, but offers to register an original clown makeup for Stone. Stone says "If I hadn't been a cop..." and Keller completes the sentence: "I know, Mike, you would have been a clown." The show ends with Stone gazing into the display case.
There are a lot of nitpicky things about this episode that bothered me, especially the finale, where Barbara says "He was my father..." There has been no indication up to that point that she was the killer clown, so this involves a certain amount of effort to figure out "What is she talking about?" and suddenly catch up to where we are in the plot. Barbara becoming a clown and killing Ashburn in front of everyone makes no sense at all. There is no way that a "new" clown who suddenly appeared out of nowhere could knock off someone during a performance without the other half-dozen or so regular clowns (and other close-knit circus personnel) not scratching their heads as to why this person was suddenly there (and then suddenly disappeared) and who this person was. When Stone puts on Ashburn's costume, the idea is other people there will assume Ashburn has "returned from dead," especially since Stone told the doctor to keep Ashburn's demise hush-hush for a few hours. Wouldn't Barbara have seen past the makeup and realized that it really was Stone? She disposes of her clown costume very quickly when Stone and Keller are chasing her at the end of the show. You also have to wonder how Barbara could have inveigled herself into Hans's apartment given the presence nearby of Mrs. Clemons, who seems like a "nosy landlady" type. After all, Barbara murdered Hans, probably producing some noise, though we are never told exactly how she killed him. Aside from being able to take advantage of building a show around an actual circus which was in San Francisco (actually Daly City at the Cow Palace) at the time, I think this episode appealed to Karl Malden who, like his character on the show, also had dreams of being a circus clown.
- Barbara's friend Crystal (the busty Madilyn Rhue) calls Keller "Sweet Face."
- The circus has performers doing a Chinese lion dance. There are also large versions of Warner Brothers characters Bugs Bunny, Sylvester the Cat and Pepé Le Pew.
- In addition to mention of Vancouver as the circus's next city and the conversation with Murdock, which takes place in the presence of Sergeant Hawlins (Dan Caldwell), a cop in Vancouver, there is more Canadian content when a shipping container with a label saying "Winnipeg Canada" is seen in the background at around 13:00. There is a map of Vancouver behind Hawlins when he is on the phone with Stone.
- When Stone is talking to Murdock, he says he suspects the killer is Cesar Volnak. But Stone knows Volnak is dead, and wouldn't Murdock as well?
- Ruggers was supposed to have a date with Barbara the night he went to the motel with someone else. Barbara says she saw him about 6:30, but Ruggers earlier said he was going to pick her up "about 7" and later tells Keller that Barbara had "a bad headache" when he saw her around 6:30. Ruggers also tells the cops he had no idea that his uncle Albert lived in San Francisco, yet he knew that the two brothers lived together and where they lived (and lied about going to visit Hans.)
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E21: Superstar ★★
Original air date: March 4, 1976
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writer: Morton S. Fine
Guest Stars: Paul Sorvino, Don Gordon, Ron Soble, Alfred Ryder
According to IMDb, this episode was the pilot for the series "Bert D'Angelo Superstar," which started its regular run two weeks earlier, and was a total bomb in the ratings. This show was also filmed in San Francisco and from the sketchy information available at IMDb, was another Quinn Martin production which used some of the same production team and crew. Paul Sorvino stars in the titular role. According to Keller, D'Angelo got his nickname because "He's got the highest arrest and conviction record in all of New York City. He's got a list of citations for bravery a mile long." D'Angelo arrives by plane from New York City (Manhattan), in search of Joseph ("Joey") Latham (Don Gordon), who has information regarding the slaying of his partner Mickey Eudol. D'Angelo is an archetypal "Eastern" cop, obnoxious and pushy, who wants to break all the rules and, worse yet, keeps referring to San Francisco as just "Frisco." Despite the fact that the chief asked Stone and Keller to co-operate with him, he drives Stone up the wall. Stone describes him as "abrasive, obnoxious, a smart guy, a wise apple [and b]esides all that, he has no respect for the law." D'Angelo wants to take Latham back east without any extradition procedure. Stone tells him "Sergeant, you're not a cop in this city. You're a guest, just like any other tourist, and you're not going to take anybody out of here unless he wants to go or unless he's extradited, or over my dead body." The three of them track Joey down to a restaurant where he works as a short-order cook, but he is not there, and the owner doesn't have his address. D'Angelo tells Stone and Keller to go to the Bocaccio Massage Studio for Men where Joey's girl friend Valarie (Karen Philipp) works. D'Angelo had met her in the Club Mecca that morning while looking for Joey. D'Angelo says Joey is "a massage freak [who l]ikes to get rubbed by tall, blonde ladies with boots." Offered a portrait of Grant ($50), Valarie says that Joey is at the Aldrich Hotel on Jones. Joey is there, but he says he doesn't know who iced D'Angelo's partner, which D'Angelo says happened because of "a tip about a big syndicate payoff." D'Angelo gives Joey some typical New York cop tough talk, but gets nowhere. When Stone wants D'Angelo taken to the airport and put him on a plane back home, he escapes from them. D'Angelo goes back to Joey's hotel where he asks him some more questions, but when Joey runs away and flags down a patrol car, D'Angelo disappears. Joey returns to his room, but a New York hitman named Charlie Miller (Ron Soble) shows up, wanting to knock Joey off before he breaks down and blabs that he knows who killed D'Angelo's partner. Miller and Joey fight; Joey shoots Miller in the shoulder using Miller's own gun, but falls out his hotel window to the street four stories below and dies. Stone gets Keller to contact New York and determine if the shell from Miller's gun is the same as the one which killed D'Angelo's partner (it is). D'Angelo gives Stone a lot of mouth at his office; the only thing Stone can tell him is "Just leave town." Miller goes to see Anton Pravek (Alfred Ryder), a former New York doctor who lost his license and gets his wound patched up. Stone and Keller figure out this is what Miller is doing, and they get a list of ex-doctors from New York now living in San Francisco. They go to visit Pravek, who tells them Miller called him from the Caravan Motel and that someone else (meaning D'Angelo) had been to visit him earlier to inquire about Miller as well. D'Angelo got directed to Pravek's with information from Georgia (Amy Levitt), a hooker and Jimbo (Kenneth O'Brien), her pimp and was also told by Pravek that Miller was holed up in the motel. Back at Stone's office, Keller and he try to figure how Miller is going to get out of town. The usual means are all being monitored by the cops. Keller suggests "A slow boat to China," which causes Stone to have a brainstorm. Stone and Keller rush to the docks, only to find the most likely ship that Miller could take has already left. D'Angelo has already beat them there, because he found a list from the newspaper of departing ships in Miller's room with one of them circled and he is now on board. Stone and Keller get the assistance of Coast Guard to pursue the ship. In his cabin on the ship, Miller is confronted by D'Angelo and disarmed. But Miller has another gun and he takes D'Angelo outside with the intention of throwing him overboard just as Stone and Keller arrive. After considering whether he should jump overboard himself, Miller is busted by Stone and Keller. Back on land, Stone tells D'Angelo he is going to throw the book at him, but Burt replies that courts are only going to be interested in who was wearing the handcuffs (him) and who was holding the gun (Miller).
D'Angelo shows up at Stone's office, even though he should have been on a plane back east. Stone rushes out, though he shakes D'Angelo's hand for the first time ("I think he likes me," D'Angelo says.) Before he leaves, D'Angelo is going to check out some of the tourist attractions, because San Francisco appeals to him. He is thinking of making a move to the city: "Nothing's been the same since Mickey was killed." Keller says Burt could probably get a job in the department. D'Angelo says that wouldn't be so bad, describing Keller and Stone as "cream of the crop. If it wasn't for you, I would be floating face down in the bay right now." But D'Angelo can't be all complimentary, he calls them "Frisco's finest ... but you wouldn't last ten minutes in New York." Both he and Keller laugh.
This episode has too much speechifying, particularly from D'Angelo, not to mention brainstorming and has one huge, incomprehensible moment. When he can't figure out where the wounded Miller would get treated, D'Angelo entices the hooker Georgia with a bag of dope. So where did this Georgia suddenly come from? D'Angelo somehow chose her out of all the hookers in San Francisco. How did he figure that she would be his ticket to finding Pravek (and where did he get this dope from)? Georgia has no idea where one would find a doctor with a revoked license, but what are the chances that she would turn D'Angelo on to Jimbo, who will know that Pravek, out of all the fishy doctors in San Francisco, is the exact doctor that Miller needs (in fact, a doctor from New York, and someone who Miller actually knows)? Something major got cut out of the story at this point, I think!
- Pravek's address is 456 Persbury Street, his phone number is 555-9977. The page in the phone book that Miller consults to find this information has several "555" phone numbers, but also many which are real-looking.
- Latham's mug shot number is 742152.
- While they are trying to find Joey, the three cops are in a sleazy part of town with the House of Ecstasy, featuring "XX-Rated Girls," and the North Beach Movie theatre with "San Francisco's best hardcover movies from the Orient."
- When D'Angelo refers to Joey's fetish for massages from blonde ladies with boots, Keller says, "Boots? Maybe he's a Rudyard Kipling freak, too," referring to the poem which, according to Wikipedia, "imagines the repetitive thoughts of a British Army infantryman marching by forced marches in South Africa during the Second Boer War." No one else in the car gets this.
- When Don Gordon and Ron Goble are fighting in Joey's room before he falls out the window, it is obviously two stuntmen.
- D'Angelo uses a couple of slang terms for drugs: doojee (heroin) and zoom (PCP). At the end of the show, he tells Keller, "You were with me every step of the way, and when it came down to the real mahoskas, you were right there." The meaning of the word "mahoskas" is somewhat more complicated.
- When Stone asks Keller to do two or three things and Keller says that he has already done then, Stone says "What did you come to me for?" Keller replies, "For you to tell me what a good job I'm doing."
- At the end of the show, the clipping from the newspaper showing the departing ships has the British London Queen circled. It is going to Buenos Aires via Los Angeles and the Panama Canal. But the ship that Miller actually takes is the Pioneer Contractor, which is based in New York, supposedly going to the same destination. Another ship, the Meadowlark, is going to Alaska via Vancouver (note: Canadian content). Stone, thinking that maybe Miller is on that ship, asks for the Vancouver Police to be alerted.
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E22: Alien Country ★★★
Original air date: March 11 1976
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writer: Larry Brody
Guest Stars: A Martinez, Robert Carricart, Roy Poole, Henry Darrow
Because employment opportunities in Arborville, CA (a bogus rinky-dinky town in the "wine country") are becoming fewer and far between, Rudy Costa (A Martinez) goes to San Francisco where he applies to get a job at the Riker Lumber Company. Unknown to him, Ramon Montoya (Henry Darrow), who arranges for "illegals" to get work with forged documents, at that moment is in the lumber yard talking to some of his clients. When several immigration officers suddenly raid the place, Montoya attempts to flee. One of these officers confronts Montoya about the paperwork he is carrying, quite likely because some blank visas and work permit forms were stolen recently from one of their offices. Montoya stabs the officer to death and runs away, but Rudy, who has witnessed this confrontation, goes to look at the dead man at exactly the same time as two other men see him, and they assume that Rudy is the killer. Rudy quickly returns to Arborville where he attempts to get a job picking grapes at the Courtney Vineyards, but the owner of the place, James Courtney (David McLean) says he will only employ people who are on the up-and-up. His son Harry (Royce Appegate), on the other hand, suggests that Rudy might be able to purchase a forged green card from someone locally. When Rudy goes to visit this person, he is surprised to find that it is Montoya, who basically tells Rudy if he will keep his mouth shut about what happened in the lumber yard, he will provide Rudy with a free green card and may have some "special jobs" for him. Stone and Keller get Rudy's address from his job application and soon arrive in Arborville. Most of the people there who know Rudy think he is a wonderful person, including Rudy 's kids' teacher, Alma Drake (Amzie Strickland) and Bernardo Medina (Robert Carricart), who is like an "uncle" to Rudy and his kids (Rudy's wife died the previous year). Arborville Sheriff Jackson (Roy Poole) says he will assist Stone and Keller, but cautions them not to inflame the large number of local rednecks who are upset about the number of illegal immigrants working in the area. Stone and Keller do some investigating, and Keller finds Rudy picking grapes, but Rudy escapes from him. One of the local boys, Stan Reeves (Bruce Glover), who had a previous run-in with Montoya, decides to take things into his own hands, and goes to the trailer where Montoya lives. He is surprised by Montoya, who stabs him to death and then drives Reeves in his car into a nearby river, trying unsuccessfully to make it look like an accident. A blank alien registration card is taken from Reeves' car, but this doesn't make sense to Stone. Neither does the suggestion that Costa and Montoya were in business together because Rudy had filled out the application at the lumber yard with his own name. Sheriff Jackson puts out a dragnet to find Rudy, since he is nevertheless the number one suspect in Reeves' killing. Rudy manages to get to Montoya's place and asks for help. To keep the heat off him and to make $300, he is sent out of town to Salinas to bring back a load of illegal immigrants who will be brought back to the Courtney Vineyards. Medina goes to Montoya's place, wanting to know what is going on with Rudy. Montoya tells him that Rudy is up to his neck in trouble, and that Medina should keep his mouth shut, especially since Montoya knows that Medina himself and his wife are also illegal immigrants and have been lying about this for the last 30 years. Rudy returns with the truckload of aliens, just as other truckloads of gun-toting local rednecks show up at Courtney's, tipped off as to what is happening by an attendant at a gas station where Rudy stopped on the way home. In the confusion, a truck crashes into the barn where the immigrants have been hidden and a fire starts from some gas cans. The local cops, as well as Stone and Keller, suddenly show up; Rudy and Keller manage to get all the illegals out of the barn. Rudy tells Keller, "I'm through running."
Stone talks to Medina, telling him the charges against Rudy have been dropped. He will be deported but Mr. Courtney will sponsor him as a legal immigrant after this. When Medina asks Stone when will he and his wife have to leave because of the deception over his status, Stone gives him a "I know nothing ... nothing..." line saying "We're with homicide; That's immigration. We can't do everybody's work for them." Keller takes the opportunity to ask Medina if he might help them taste some "vino," because they have been in the wine country for several days and haven't had any of the local fares. Medina is only too glad to help.
This is another good episode. Stone and Keller are again somewhat out of their jurisdiction, though the crime they are investigating did happen in San Francisco. You have to wonder why Montoya is at the lumber yard, though the place does have a reputation for hiring illegal immigrants. The "wine country," meaning the Napa Valley and so forth, is not that far away from San Francisco, so I guess Montoya has quite a wide territory to service. There is a character named "Jack" in this show who is not well explained. He is not in the truck from Courtney's when it leaves for Salinas. But on the way back, when Rudy stops at the gas station, this Jack is sitting right beside him as there is noise from inside the back of the truck which makes the attendant suspicious and later alert his pals in town. When Rudy returns to Courtney's, the illegals are unloaded, then Rudy wants to get paid. Montoya gives Jack a gun, saying after Rudy is paid, to "drive him somewhere and dump amigo," and then keep the money that he is giving him. When the local boys show up at Courtney's, Jack tries to drive away, but he is blocked, and when he drives in the other direction, it is his truck which causes the fire in the barn. There is no indication what happens to Jack, after the crash, the door on the truck is open, suggesting he escaped somewhere. This whole business with the fire at the end of the show is very gimmicky.
- When Stone and Keller go to the apartment Rudy was using in San Francisco, the landlord, who goes by the name of T.J. (James Griffith) has such boozy breath that Stone can't bear to stand beside him.
- When Stone goes to one of the vineyards looking for Rudy, no wonder the guy he speaks to doesn't want to talk to him, Stone obviously looks like a cop, duh! Keller, on the other hand, is dressed much more casually.
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
S04E23: Runaway ★★★
Original air date: March 18, 1976
Director: Harry Falk; Writer: Paul Savage
Guest Stars: Darleen Carr, Billy Green Bush, Alex Henteloff, Pamelyn Ferdin*
15-year-old Chris Cavanaugh (Pamelyn Ferdin) comes by bus to San Francisco to live with her father Fred (Billy Green Bush). When she arrives at her father's apartment, there is the sounds of gunfire and some man runs out of the place. Chris is sad because she thinks her father is the dead man on the floor, but it is not. It is Larry Cox, who, with his brother Dave (Edward Walsh), "are or were the muscle men for some small-time bookies." Chris's father was actually the guy who rushed out the door after the confrontation. Stone's daughter Jeannie has arrived from Tucson for a holiday, and, arriving with her father at the crime scene, takes Chris under her wing. Stone sends the kid to the Youth Guidance Center, but Chris walks out of the place, so Stone lets her stay at his house with Jeannie overnight. Chris protests having to go back to the place the next day, saying she is fed up with adult maxims like "'It's for your own good'' and ''When you're older, you'll understand.'' Keller, who is joining them for dinner, tells Stone, "You can't talk to a teenager like that. You start arguing with her, you've already lost your point." Keller offers to take Chris to the center, but she jumps out of the car and comes back to Stone's. Chris's father is kind of a scuzzball. He goes to Joey Collins (Walter Burke), asking to borrow money to pay off his gambling debts. Collins tells him to get lost, calling him a "crumb." Dave Cox, who was seen outside Cavanaugh's place where his brother got shot, and was recently released on parole, goes to see bookie Manny Judson (Milton Selzer), asking where does Fred Cavanaugh hang out, but Judson doesn't know, despite getting a severe beating from Cox. Cox eventually gets this information via one of Collins' associates. Investigation into Cavanaugh's criminal history reveals nothing particularly violent. His wife divorced him when he was in prison, but, contrary to what Chris told Stone, that her mother is dead, she is still alive and well and living in Kansas, not Utah. When Stone confronts Chris with this revelation, she says that she left her mother because life was getting complicated because of her mother's new boyfriend, Andy, saying "Whenever Andy's around, she doesn't even know l'm alive." Dave Cox finds out the address of the apartment where Cavanaugh is now staying and goes there. When Fred comes home, Cox fires several shots at him, and Fred flees to an old housing project. Clarence Hoby (Alex Henteloff), an informer, finds out this location and calls the police station. Stone is not there, so Hoby is rerouted to Stone's home phone and Chris takes the message, thus finding out where her father is. Chris goes to the project, but so does Cox. Cavanaugh holds his daughter in front of himself like a shield when Cox is going to shoot him! Stone and Keller show up, having received the message from Clarence. Cox is wounded and taken into custody. Chris calls her father "A good-for-nothing creep."
Chris's mother comes to San Francisco to take her daughter home. Stone says it was a "pleasure" looking after her, but Chris says that is not what he said earlier, that she was a "pain in the neck and [he would] be glad to get rid of her." Still, Chris gives Stone a hug and says she will write to him. Keller wonders "What is this great magic power you have over all these women?" Stone replies, I don't know. But l tell you, whatever it is, l'd better be careful how l use it."
Although this show is OK, it is kind of talky and ventures into soap opera. I find it very odd that Seklovich would give Hoby, the informer, Stone's home phone number to pass on a tip. Ferdin does a good job portraying an obnoxious teenager.
- When Stone's daughter arrives from Tucson at the beginning of the show, she gives her father a big smooch as an older couple look on, horrified. She then says, looking in their direction, "l can't help it. Older men turn me on," offending them even more.
- Sekulavich's name (spelled that way in the end credits) is spelled "Sekulovich" on the name plate on his desk.
Click here for more trivia and information about the episode.
SEASON ONE SEASON TWO
SEASON THREE SEASON FIVE
PILOT EPISODE MAIN PAGE
SEASON 4 THEME MUSIC: Opening Credits • End Credits